General "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 2, 1863
(1824-1863) Born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), he graduated in the West Point class of 1846, a class that furnished 24 general officers to the Union and Confederate armies during The War Between the States. He earned the brevets of captain and major during the Mexican War distinguishing himself at the Battle of Chapultepec. He was an instructor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., from 1851-61. When Virginia seceded from the Union in May 1861, Jackson joined the Confederate Army, and distinguished himself as a brigade commander at the 1st Battle of Manassas, on July 21, 1861. He appeared on the field of battle just in the nick of time to furnish crucial reinforcements to the Confederate forces, and beat back a fierce Union assault. Confederate General Barnard E. Bee, shouted encouragement to his men by saying, look there stands Jackson like a stonewall, rally around the Virginians! From that July day forward, the sobriquet "Stonewall" stuck with General Jackson forever! He waged a magnificent campaign of surprise and maneuver in the spring of 1862, against the Federal Army in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, in such places as Kernstown, Front Royal, Winchester, and Port Republic, in what became known as "Jackson's Valley Campaign. Using a combination of great audacity, excellent knowledge of the terrain, and the great ability to inspire his troops to great feats of marching and fighting, his men earned the nickname of "Jackson's Foot Cavalry." General Jackson was regarded by many military historians to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in U.S. military history. He would go on to fight in the Seven Days Battles in Virginia, the Battles of Cedar Mountain, 2nd Manassas, Chantilly, Harpers Ferry, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. It was at the Battle of Chancellorsville, one of General Robert E. Lee's greatest victories that Stonewall Jackson would have his date with destiny, and be mortally wounded by friendly fire on the evening of May 2, 1863. While returning from a night reconnaissance, Jackson and his staff came upon sentries of the 18th North Carolina Infantry, who mistook the group for a Union cavalry unit. In the confusion shots were fired and General Jackson was struck by 3 bullets, two in the left arm, and one in the right hand. Jackson's personal surgeon, Doctor Hunter Mc Guire, amputated his arm, and he was placed in an army ambulance and brought to a farmhouse at Guinea Station, Va., where he died 8 days later, on May 10, 1863, of complications from pneumonia. When General Robert E. Lee first learned of Jackson's wounding and the amputation of his left arm, he famously said you have lost your left arm, but I have lost my right arm, illustrating the place that Jackson held in Lee's eyes, and in his gallant Army of Northern Virginia. Lee wrote to Jackson after learning of his injuries: "Could I have directed events, I would have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead." Lee had not only lost a good friend, but his best tactical general. The loss of Jackson was catastrophic to the Confederacy. Historians believe that if Stonewall Jackson had been with Lee at Gettysburg, less than 2 months after Jackson's death, the epic 3 day battle in Pennsylvania may very well have had a much different outcome. General Jackson's body was moved to the Governor's Mansion in Richmond for the public to mourn, and then was brought back to his beloved Lexington, to be buried in Oak Grove Cemetery. Lexington, Va., was the town where Jackson taught at V.M.I., and owned the only house he ever owned in his lifetime. In 1870, his commander General Robert E. Lee, would join his old comrade in eternal rest, as Lee was interred not far away in the chapel of Washington College, in Lexington.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 4 card. Seated view wearing a double breasted frock coat with rank of major general. He poses with his legs crossed showing off the high leather boots he is wearing, and at the right side of the view a portion of a tent flap is visible. This is a variant of the February 1862 Winchester, Va. portrait. It shows retouching, but it is possible that it is from a genuine seated print that is now lost to the ages. The known portrait of Jackson taken at the Winchester session is said to be Mrs. Jackson's favorite image of her husband. There is a period ink inscription on the front mount which simply reads, "Jackson." Nothing more needed to be said to introduce this hero of the Confederacy. There is also a blind stamp imprint of Bendann, Baltimore on the front mount. Back mark: Bendann Bros., 207 Baltimore St., Baltimore, with their logo and a 2 cents blue/green George Washington U.S. Internal Revenue Proprietary tax stamp on the verso. Very nice portrait of "Old Blue Light." Scarce and very desirable.
WBTS Trivia: Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was called "Old Blue Light" because his men said his blue eyes glowed with a bright blue light when the battle commenced.