Stonewall Jackson Essay

& # 8217 ; s 1862 Valley Campaign Essay, Research Paper

Many traits are associated with Thomas Jonathan Jackson and his

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leading in the Confederacy. He is known for blunt finding, military

mastermind beyond all others, and the ability to turn any ground forces into a active machine.

Jackson became legendary when a South Carolina general, seeking to beat up his

ain work forces at Bull Run, pointed to Jackson and shouted, ? Look, there is Jackson

and his work forces standing like a rock wall against the enemy. ? Therefore he everlastingly

became? Stonewall? Jackson. Jackson? s military bequest had begun even before

this minute, when he diverted 20,000 northern military personnels in the Shenendoah Valley

of Virginia, with merely 7,000 military personnels of him ain. The image of Stonewall Jackson

has everlastingly been one of the most absorbing associated with Civil War military


However, the true military mastermind of Jackson lies in his apprehension of

motion in war. He could steer a brigade under the olfactory organ of opposing

ground forcess, process his work forces farther and faster than anyone before, and understood

the critical importance of railwaies to the war attempt. Using all these techniques,

he single-handedly distracted much of the Union force headed to Richmond

( including McClellan ) . The operations of Jackson in the Shenendoah during the

foremost half of the twelvemonth 1862 constitute one of the most superb episodes of military

motion in history and go on to be a criterion for military survey today.

Get downing with the Battle of Kernstown on March 23 and stoping with the

Battle of Fort Republic on June 9, Stonewall Jackson produced the individual

greatest military operation in the Civil War. The about impossible Marches, the

incredible lickings of ground forcess triple the size of his ain, and the uninterrupted

confusion the Union faced made his manoeuvres legendary. Two factors gave

the part military value. The Army of Northern Virginia was about dependent

on its agricultural merchandises. And secondly, it became a fortress that had to be

occupied to progress into Virginia ( specifically Richmond ) [ Appendix A ] .

Jackson recognized that this vale was the key to military motion, and

military domination, in the eastern theatre.

Soon after the conflict of Bull Run? Jackson was promoted to command the

Valley District of Virginia. ? 1 His bid revolved entirely around the

Shenendoah, of which the Union forces held Romney and the north side of the

Potomac. Jackson had merely a little regiment at his disposal to seek and recover

this district. The run had no unequivocal beginning, but the motion

during the month of March signaled the first action. On March 23 at Kernstown,

Jackson was handed his merely? loss? when he battled Nathaniel Banks and his

9000 work forces with less than 3000 of his ain work forces. Jackson? s regiment was routed,

but the conflict caused Banks to prorogue his move on Washington, therefore? stop deading

a big organic structure of brotherhood military personnels in the vale? 2. Furthermore, it? convinced President

Lincoln that Jackson? s ground forces could be cut of and destroyed. ? 3 He now retired up

the vale. He appeared all of a sudden at McDowell on May 8 and sent a Federal

force on retreat. One Confederate officer recalled the effects of the conflict:

? Jackson? s prompt action and bold onslaught had wholly changed McClellan? s

programs, and alternatively of set uping Banks near Manassas, he ordered him to

remain in the vale, and even sent [ supports ] , to assistance in driving back

Jackson? .4? Marching with the velocity that earned his military personnels the moniker the

? pes horse? he attacked and defeated a little brotherhood fort at Front Royal? 5

and so fell upon Bank? s withdrawing chief ground forces at Winchester on May 25. Here

he defeated 64,000 military personnels with his ain 17,000 by flanking his place in the

metropolis. Stonewall Jackson? s little vale ground forces had? turned the tabular arraies on Banks and

the Washington authorities, and now held control of the full Shenendoah. ? 6

Threatened by Jackson? s close propinquity to Washington, Lincoln diverted

Federal military personnels to environ his ground forces. Jackson watched three Federal columns

converge to destruct him, but narrowly escaped by falling back on Harper? s Ferry

on May 31, coercing portion of his ground forces to process 50 stat mis in two yearss to evade the

trap. Jackson continued to retreat up the vale with Union forces in hot

chase. Jackson foresaw the two Federal columns? meeting on Port

Republic ; hence, he concentrated forces at that place and maintain Fremont and Shields

separated. General Richard Ewell held off Fremont? s forces at Cross Keys to

allow Jackson clip to be after a work stoppage. Jackson? s forces crossed the Shenendoah

River and attacked Shields on June 9. After a barbarous conflict, the Federal soldiers were

routed and retreated northerly, go forthing Jackson? maestro of the Valley. ? 7 He had

? thwarted every Union attempt made against him. ? 8 He did so through a

combination of difficult Marches, cognition of terrain, unexpected tactics,

straightforwardness of intent, heavy onslaughts concentrated at one point, and ego

assurance originating from the idea that God was on his side. However,

Jackson? s mob is explained best by his ain words to an officer at the conflict of

Cross Keys:

Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible.

And when you strike and overcome him, ne’er allow up in the chase

so long as your work forces have strength to follow. Such tactics win

every clip, and a little ground forces may therefore destruct a big one in

item, and repeated triumph will do it invincible.9

Adroitly put to deathing his sharp military mind, Jackson had? occupied

about 60,000 military personnels in the bootless attempt to convey him to bay. ? 10

These motions had a profound impact on the Civil War, holding both

immediate and permanent effects. The most obvious consequence is the recreation Jackson

caused on Union forces heading toward Richmond. Becuase of Jackson? s

motions, Lincoln dispatched 20,000 military personnels to look into him. While these military personnels

were on there manner, Jackson stealthily slipped between them and stationed at

Ashland, straight north of the capital. ? Protecting Richmond was the key to

Confederate success? 11, and Jackson preserved its safety with his motions

in the Valley.

Each conflict in the run had strong branchings that were felt in

Washington and throughout the Union. The bold onslaught on Kernstown, though

unsuccessful, led to many of import consequences. The first consequence was the callback of

Federal military personnels from Manassas to the Valley by the request of General Shields.

He explained the logical thinking behind this move stating, ? Though the conflict had

been won, I still could non believe Jackson would hold [ smitten ] so far from the

chief organic structure without supports ; so to be prepared for such a eventuality, I

set to convey together all the military personnels within my range. ? 12 Therefore a organic structure of 20,000

military personnels was thought necessary to guard against Jackson? s 3000 and the

fanciful supports. McClellan was besides deprived of 10,000 work forces in his

bid that were placed supporting against Jackson. And eventually Lincoln felt

so insecure over the defence of Washington, that he ordered McDowell? s full

corps to be added to 70,000 already in defence, instead than allowing them help

McClellan. Therefore by striking to forestall General Johnston from go forthing the

Valley, Jackson had accomplished much more than he expected. His? hocus-pocus?

had achieved wholly he could hold hoped for.

At the tactical degree, the conflict of McDowel

cubic decimeter can be viewed as a draw.

However, strategically it was a superb success for Jackson and the South.

Through the usage of terrain and leading, Jackson demonstrated his ability to

concentrate his work forces against a smaller subdivision of the resistance, without allowing

the resistance dressed ore against him. The intelligence of Banks licking here caused

the Federal authorities to name upon all the provinces to direct reserves to protect

Washington against the chase. Jackson was demoing the Union that the

Confederate states was non traveling to be easy defeated. He carried the impulse of

this win to Front Royal and Winchester subsequently in the month.

At Front Royal and Winchester the Federal forces came to larn that

? Jackson was non to be caught by any of the combination of motions they

could convey approximately. ? 13 While it was true he had merely a one-fourth of the work forces

concentrating on his rear, he had no uncertainty of the ability to split these forces

and run into them on his ain evidences with superior tactical strength.

The conflict of Cross Keys signaled the terminal of the run with the terminal of

the chase on Jackson. Here he brightly defeated two detached ground forcess under

the bid of Fremont and Shields by deft maneuvering and clever usage of

terrain. With this dual triumph, Jackson ended his run and was free to

articulation Lee at Seven Pines.

In this exciting months run, Jackson made great gaining controls of shops

and captives ; but this was non the main consequence. Without deriving a individual tactical

triumph, he had achieved a great strategic triumph, for by skilfully traveling his

15,000 work forces, he had neutralized a force of 60,000. It is possibly non excessively much to

state that he saved Richmond, for he had caused McClellan? s forces to be greatly

diverted to the Valley and non concentrated on Richmond.

However, this recreation was non the end of Jackson when he entered the

Valley. Jackson saw the Shenendoah as the line of life of the Confederacy. It was

the clearest way to Richmond from the North, contained many agricultural

merchandises, and was the location of many train lines that fed the Confederate

military personnels. Crucial to understanding the importance of the Valley to Jackson were

the railwaies. The B & A ; O, W & A ; P, and more significantly the Manassas Gap

Railroad all ran through some portion of the vale [ Appendix B ] . Jackson

understood the analogue between triumph on the tracks and triumph in the war.

The Manassas Gap Railroad can easy be called the? meatline on the

Confederate states. ? 14 Along its paths were found the largest meat wadding works in

the Confederacy and three terminals of shops that fed the largest subdivision of military personnels.

It was the most normally used rail to transport freshly geting soldiers into the

ground forces every bit good. In the spring of 1862, Union forces were shuting in on the paths,

and? merely such Confederates as Lee and Jackson understood the magnitude of

the loss. ? 15

Jackson besides understood the importance that motion of supplies

played in the North. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was a? regular mark for

Jackson? s work forces who smashed its paths and took its supplies. ? 16 It was one of

his precious aims to destruct that railway and reclaim northwestern


During the full run, Banks was having his supplies on the

Manassas Gap and so holding them carted to him. ? Jackson reasoned that if

the route were cut at Front Royal, Banks would be forced to trust on a long waggon

draw from Winchester ; that such a supply would be so vulnerable to cavalry

foraies, ? 17 he could coerce Banks to fall back down the vale. He calculated that

by utilizing the Massanuttens as a barrier he could fleetly take the rail at Front

Royal before Banks became cognizant of the intent. He swept out of the forests,

and routed the Federal military personnels left to guard the railway, go forthing Banks cut off

from his supply line. Jackson? s recapture of the small town and railroad spelled

catastrophe for Banks. He could now easy dispel Banks back to Winchester and

out of the Potomac wholly. Clearly? Stonewall Jackson knew how to utilize a

railway? to get away winning against larger enemies.

On May 19th Jackson had began his valley campaign-a run that

resulted in superb success for the Southern cause. With the licking of Fremont

on June 8th and Shields on 9th, he had been on March for 23 yearss ; covered 200

stat mis ; had McDowell? s? forces from Fredericksburg rerouted ; had seized valuable

supplies at Front Royal, Winchester, and Martinsburg, and, although surrounded

by 60,000 work forces, had escaped the traps set for him and brought place captives

and captured goods. And he had done this with a relatively little loss of

work forces. The Battle of Port Republic was his most dearly-won triumph, but its consequences were

so superb that it was a fitting stopping point to a scene of warfare that will populate in history

with the great runs of the universe. It raised the celebrity of Jackson to the

highest pinnacle of military fame, giving him a place among the greatest

soldiers of the age.

The conflicts of Jackson? s Valley Campaign are known to pupils of the

war, non merely in the United States, but across the universe. General Norman

Shwarzkopf late cited Jackson? s run as one of the guiding visible radiations

behind his scheme in the Middle East. Field Marshall Erwin Rommel visited the

vale and followed in Jackson? s footfalls through the vale to understand the

mastermind behind it. The military accomplishments which Stonewall Jackson used in the

Shenendoah Valley run have been analyzed and studied by war historiographers

for coevalss in hopes of reiterating the superb executing.

Many future military leaders used Jackson as a footing for their bid.

In England, from 1875 on, many officers were expected to read the

autobiography of Stonewall Jackson, with particular accent on the Shenendoah

in order to larn? a right application of scheme of interior lines. ? 18 Erwin

Rommel, commanding officer of the German forces in Africa, used the Valley Campaign

to larn to successfully get the better of ground forcess larger in size. Clearly, Stonewall

Jackson? s bequest in the vale lives on forever.

Jackson? s glare in the Shenendoah is straight linked to his

consummate apprehension of the fact that to win in war is to understand the

motions of war. By processing his work forces under the olfactory organ of other commanding officers,

insulating smaller subdivisions of ground forcess that could easy be defeated, capitalising on

railwaies chances, understanding the necessary subdivisions that the brotherhood

must go to assail, and assailing the right subdivisions of the vale, Stonewall

had developed a military acumen that was unprecedented. In a affair of a short

clip since registration into the Confederacy, Robert E. Lee and he were

commanding the destiny of the war despite Federal advantages in industry, railwaies,

work forces, and supplies. With Jackson? s decease at Chancellorsville, many believe the

hopes of a southern triumph died. Jackson had shown that military mastermind can

licking superior Numberss repeatedly, but the decease of the consummate

commanding officer caused the South to lose its greatest hope.

Historians and war experts agree that Jackson? s Valley run of 1862

is one of the greatest illustrations of military motion in history. However,

Jackson would non take recognition for the superb disturbances and triumphs stating merely,

? God has been our shield, and to his name be all the glorification. ? 19