Stonewall Jackson in Civil War

 

This Site:

Civil War

Civil War Overview

Civil War 1861

Civil War 1862

Civil War 1863

Civil War 1864

Civil War 1865

Civil War Battles

Confederate Generals

Union Generals

Confederate History

Robert E. Lee

Civil War Medicine

Lincoln Assassination

Slavery

Site Search

Civil War Links

 

Civil War Art

Revolutionary War

Mexican War

Republic of Texas

Indians

Winslow Homer

Thomas Nast

Mathew Brady

Western Art

Civil War Gifts

Robert E. Lee Portrait

Stonewall Jackson Free Online Books | Stonewall Jackson in Civil War | Stonewall Jackson Biography | Stonewall Jackson Obituary | Stonewall Jackson's Last Words | Stonewall Jackson Birthday | Stonewall Jackson Quotes

STONEWALL JACKSON

and the

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

by the late

Colonel G. F. R. HENDERSON, C.B.

AUTHOR OF “THE BATTLE OF SPICHEREN, A TACTICAL STUDY”
AND “THE CAMPAIGN OF FREDERICKSBURG”

with an introduction by
FIELD-MARSHAL THE LATE
RIGHT HONOURABLE VISCOUNT WOLSELEY,
K.P., G.C.B., G.C.M.G., &c.

Portrait of Stonewall Jackson

Stonewall Jackson Index | Stonewall Jackson at West Point | Stonewall Jackson and Mexican War | Stonewall Jackson Lexington | Stonewall Jackson and Secession | Stonewall Jackson and Harper's Ferry | Stonewall Jackson at Battle of Bull Run | Stonewall Jackson at Romney | Stonewall Jackson at Kernstown | Battle of McDowell | Battle of Winchester | Battle of Cross Keys and Port Republic | Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign | The Seven Days Battle | Battle of Frayser's Farm and Malvern Hill | Battle of Cedar Run | Second Battle of Bull Run | Battle of Second Bull Run Conclusion | Battle of Harper's Ferry | Battle of Sharpsburg | Battle of Fredericksburg | The Army of Northern Virginia | Stonewall Jackson's Winter Quarters | Battle of Chancellorsville | Battle of Chancellorsville Conclusion

WITH PORTRAITS, MAPS, AND PLANS

TO MY FATHER

—::—

INTRODUCTION

Before the great Republic of the West had completed a century of independent national existence, its political fabric was subjected to the strain of a terrible internecine war. That the true cause of conflict was the antagonism between the spirit of Federalism and the theory of “States’ Rights” is very clearly explained in the following pages, and the author exactly expresses the feeling with which most Englishmen regard the question of Secession, when he implies that had he been a New Englander he would have fought to the death to preserve the Union, while had he been born in Virginia he would have done as much in defence of a right the South believed inalienable. The war thus brought about dragged on its weary length from the spring of 1861 to the same season of 1865. During its progress reputations were made that will live for ever in American history, and many remarkable men came to the front. Among these not the least prominent was “Stonewall Jackson,” who to the renown of a great soldier and unselfish patriot added the brighter fame of a Christian hero; and to those who would know what manner of man this Stonewall Jackson was, and why he was so universally revered, so beloved, so trusted by his men, I can cordially recommend Colonel Henderson’s delightful volumes. From their perusal I have derived real pleasure and sound instruction. They have taught me much; they have made me think still more; and I hope they may do the same for many others in the British Army. They are worth the closest study, for few

military writers have possessed Colonel Henderson’s grasp of tactical and strategical principles, or his knowledge of the methods which have controlled their application by the most famous soldiers, from Hannibal to Von Moltke. Gifted with a rare power of describing not only great military events but the localities where they occurred, he places clearly before his readers, in logical sequence, the circumstances which brought them about. He has accomplished, too, the difficult task of combining with a brilliant and critical history of a great war the life-story of a great commander, of a most singular and remarkable man. The figure, the character, the idiosyncrasies of the famous Virginian, as well as the lofty motives which influenced him throughout, are most sympathetically portrayed.

There have been few more fitted by natural instincts, by education, by study, and by self-discipline to become leaders of men than Stonewall Jackson. From the day he joined that admirable school at West Point he may be said to have trained himself mentally, morally, and physically, for the position to which he aspired, and which it would seem he always believed he would reach. Shy as a lad, reserved as a man, speaking little but thinking much, he led his own life, devouring the experiences of great men, as recorded in military history, in order that when his time came he should be capable of handling his troops as they did. A man of very simple tastes and habits, but of strong religious principles, drawn directly from the Bible; a child in purity; a child in faith; the Almighty always in his thoughts, his stay in trouble, his guide in every difficulty, Jackson’s individuality was more striking and more complete than that of all others who played leading parts in the great tragedy of Secession. The most reckless and irreligious of the Confederate soldiers were silent in his presence, and stood awestruck and abashed before this great God-fearing man; and even in the far-off Northern States the hatred of the formidable “rebel” was tempered by an irrepressible admiration of his piety, his sincerity, and his resolution. The passions then naturally excited

have now calmed down, and are remembered no more by a reunited and chivalrous nation. With that innate love of virtue and real worth which has always distinguished the American people, there has long been growing up, even among those who were the fiercest foes of the South, a feeling of love and reverence for the memory of this great and true-hearted man of war, who fell in what he firmly believed to be a sacred cause. The fame of Stonewall Jackson is no longer the exclusive property of Virginia and the South; it has become the birthright of every man privileged to call himself an American.

Colonel Henderson has made a special study of the Secession War, and it would be difficult, in my opinion, to find a man better qualified in every respect for the task he has undertaken. I may express the hope that he will soon give us the history of the war from the death of Stonewall Jackson to the fall of Richmond. Extending as it did over a period of four years, and marked by achievements which are a lasting honour to the Anglo-Saxon name, the struggle of the South for independence is from every point of view one of the most important events in the second half of the century, and it should not be left half told. Until the battle where Stonewall Jackson fell, the tide of success was flowing, and had borne the flag of the new Confederacy within sight of the gates of Washington. Colonel Henderson deals only with what I think may be called the period of Southern victories, for the tide began to ebb when Jackson fell; and those who read his volumes will, I am convinced, look forward eagerly to his story of the years which followed, when Grant, with the skill of a practised strategist, threw a net round the Confederate capital, drawing it gradually together until he imprisoned its starving garrison, and compelled Lee, the ablest commander of his day, to surrender at discretion.

But the application of strategical and tactical principles, and the example of noble lives, are not the only or even the most valuable lessons of great wars. There are lessons which concern nations rather than individuals; and there are two to be learnt from the Secession War which are of

peculiar value to both England and the United States, whose armies are comparatively small and raised by voluntary enlistment. The first is the necessity of maintaining at all times (for it is impossible to predict what tomorrow may have in store for us) a well-organised standing army in the highest state of efficiency, and composed of thoroughly-trained and full-grown men. This army to be large enough for our military requirements, and adapted to the character, the habits, and the traditions of the people. It is not necessary that the whole force should be actually serving during peace: one half of it, provided it is periodically drilled and exercised, can be formed into a Reserve; the essential thing is that it should be as perfect a weapon as can be forged.

The second lesson is that to hand over to civilians the administration and organisation of the army, whether in peace or in war, or to allow them to interfere in the selection of officers for command or promotion, is most injurious to efficiency; while, during war, to allow them, no matter how high their political capacity, to dictate to commanders in the field any line of conduct, after the army has once received its commission, is simply to ensure disaster.

The first of these lessons is brought home to us by the opening events of this unreasonably protracted war. As I have elsewhere said, most military students will admit that had the United States been able, early in 1861, to put into the field, in addition to their volunteers, one Army Corps of regular troops, the war would have ended in a few months. An enormous expenditure of life and money, as well as a serious dislocation and loss of trade, would have been thus avoided. Never have the evil consequences which follow upon the absence of an adequate and well-organised army been more forcibly exemplified.

But, alas! when this lesson is preached in a country governed alternately by rival political parties, and when there is no immediate prospect of national danger, it falls on deaf ears. The demands made by the soldiers to put the army on a thoroughly efficient footing are persistently ignored, for the necessary means are almost invariably

required for some other object, more popular at the moment and in a parliamentary—or party—sense more useful. The most scathing comment on such a system of administration is furnished in the story told by Colonel Henderson. The fearful trials to which the United States were subjected expose the folly and self-deception of which even well-meaning party leaders are too often capable. Ministers bluster about fighting and yet refuse to spend enough money on the army to make it fit for use; and on both sides of the Atlantic the lessons taught by the Peninsula, the Crimea, and the Secession War are but seldom remembered.

The pleasing notion that, whenever war comes, money can obtain for the nation all that it requires is still, it would seem, an article of at least lip-faith with the politicians of the English-speaking race throughout the world. Gold will certainly buy a nation powder, pills, and provisions; but no amount of wealth, even when supported by a patriotic willingness to enlist, can buy discipline, training, and skilful leading. Without these there can be no such thing as an efficient army, and success in the field against serious opposition is merely the idle dream of those who know not war.

If any nation could improvise an army at short notice it would be the United States, for its men, all round, are more hardy, more self-reliant, and quicker to learn than those of older communities. But, notwithstanding this advantage, both in 1861 and 1898 the United States failed to create the thoroughly efficient armies so suddenly required, and in both instances the unnecessary sufferings of the private soldier were the price paid for the weakness and folly of the politicians. In 1861 the Governors of the several Northern States were ordered to call for volunteers to enlist for ninety days, the men electing their own officers. It was generally believed throughout the North that all Southern resistance would collapse before the great armies that would thus be raised. But the troops sent out to crush the rebellion, when they first came under fire, were soldiers only in outward garb, and at Bull Run, face to face with shot and shell, they soon lapsed into the

condition of a terrified rabble, and ran away from another rabble almost equally demoralised; and this, not because they were cowards, for they were of the same breed as the young regular soldiers who retreated from the same field in such excellent order, but because they neither understood what discipline was nor the necessity for it, and because the staff and regimental officers, with few exceptions, were untrained and inexperienced.

Mr. Davis, having prevented the Southern army from following up the victory at Bull Run, gave the Northern States some breathing time. Mr. Lincoln was thus able to raise a new army of over 200,000 men for the projected advance on Richmond.

The new army was liberally supplied with guns, pontoons, balloons, hospitals, and waggons; but, with the exception of a few officers spared from the regular army, it was without trained soldiers to lead it, or staff officers to move and to administer its Divisions. It must be admitted, I think, that General McClellan did all that a man could do in the way of training this huge mass. But when the day came for it to move forward, it was still unfit for an offensive campaign against a regular army. To the practised eye of an able and experienced soldier who accompanied McClellan, the Federal host was an army only in name. He likened it to a giant lying prone upon the earth, in appearance a Hercules, but wanting the bone, the muscle, and the nervous organisation necessary to set the great frame in motion. Even when the army was landed in the Peninsula, although the process of training and organisation had been going on for over six months, it was still a most unwieldy force. Fortunately for the Union, the Confederate army, except as regards the superior leaders and the cavalry, was hardly more efficient.

The United States, fully realising their need of a larger regular army, are now on the point of increasing their existing force to treble its present strength. Their troops, like our own, are raised by voluntary enlistment for a short period of service with the colours.

England has always very great difficulty in filling the ranks even with undeveloped youths. The United States obtain as many full-grown men as they require, because they have the wisdom to pay their men well, on a scale corresponding to the market rate of wages. Here they are fortunate; but men are not everything, and I will still draw the moral that a nation is more than blind when it deliberately elects to entrust its defence to an army that is not as perfect as training and discipline can make it, that is not led by practised officers, staff and regimental, and that is not provided with a powerful and efficient artillery. Overwhelming disaster is in store for such nation if it be attacked by a large regular army; and when it falls there will be none to pity. To hang the ministers who led them astray, and who believed they knew better than any soldier how the army should be administered, will be but poor consolation to an angry and deluded people.

Let me now dwell briefly upon the second of the two great national lessons taught by the Secession War. I shall say nothing here upon civilian meddling with army organisation and with the selection of officers for command, but I wish particularly to point out the result of interference on the part of a legislative assembly or minister with the plans and dispositions of the generals commanding in the field. Take first the notorious instance of Mr. Lincoln’s interference with McClellan in the spring of 1862. McClellan, who was selected to command the army which was to capture Richmond and end the war, was a soldier of known ability, and, in my opinion, if he had not been interfered with by the Cabinet in Washington, he would probably have succeeded. It is true, as Colonel Henderson has said, that he made a mistake in not playing up to Lincoln’s susceptibilities with regard to the safety of the Federal capital. But Lincoln made a far greater mistake in suddenly reducing McClellan’s army by 40,000 men, and by removing Banks from his jurisdiction, when the plan of campaign had been approved by the Cabinet, and it was already too late to change it. It is possible, considering

the political situation, that the garrison of Washington was too small, and it was certainly inefficient; but the best way of protecting Washington was to give McClellan the means of advancing rapidly upon Richmond. Such an advance would have made a Confederate counterstroke against the Northern capital, or even a demonstration, impossible. But to take away from McClellan 40,000 men, the very force with which he intended to turn the Yorktown lines and drive the enemy back on Richmond, and at the same time to isolate Banks in the Shenandoah Valley, was simply playing into the enemy’s hands. What Lincoln did not see was that to divide the Federal army into three portions, working on three separate lines, was to run a far greater risk than would be incurred by leaving Washington weakly garrisoned. I cannot bring myself to believe that he in the least realised all that was involved in changing a plan of operations so vast as McClellan’s.

Again, look at the folly of which Mr. Benjamin, the Confederate Secretary of War, was guilty at the same period. The reader should carefully study the chapter in which Colonel Henderson describes Stonewall Jackson’s resignation of his command when his arrangements in the field were altered, without his cognizance, by the Secretary of War.

I should like to emphasise his words: “That the soldier,” he says, “is but the servant of the statesman, as war is but an instrument of diplomacy, no educated soldier will deny. Politics must always exercise a supreme influence on strategy; yet it cannot be gainsaid that interference with the commander in the field is fraught with the gravest danger.”1

The absolute truth of this remark is proved, not only by many instances in his own volumes, but by the history of war in all ages, and the principle for which Jackson contended when he sent in his resignation would seem too well founded to be open to the slightest question. Yet there are those who, oblivious of the fact that neglect of this principle has been always responsible for protracted wars, for useless slaughter, and costly failures, still insist on the omniscience

1  Vol. i, p. 206.

of statesmen; who regard the protest of the soldier as the mere outcome of injured vanity, and believe that politics must suffer unless the politician controls strategy as well as the finances. Colonel Henderson’s pages supply an instructive commentary on these ideas. In the first three years of the Secession War, when Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stanton practically controlled the movements of the Federal forces, the Confederates were generally successful. Further, the most glorious epoch of the Confederacy was the critical period of 1862, when Lee was allowed to exercise the full authority of Commander-in-Chief; and lastly, the Northern prospects did not begin to brighten until Mr. Lincoln, in March 1864, with that unselfish intelligence which distinguished him, abdicated his military functions in favour of General Grant. And yet while Lee and Grant had a free hand over the military resources of their respective nations the political situation suffered no harm whatever, no extravagant demands were made upon the exchequer, and the Government derived fresh strength from the successes of the armies.

The truth is that a certain class of civilians cannot rid themselves of the suspicion that soldiers are consumed by an inordinate and bloodthirsty ambition. They cannot understand that a man brought up from his youth to render loyal obedience is less likely than most others to run counter to constituted authority. They will not see that a soldier’s pride in his own army and in the manhood of his own race tends to make him a devoted patriot. They do not realise that a commander’s familiarity with war, whether gained by study or experience, must, unless his ability be limited, enable him to accommodate his strategy to political exigencies. Nor will they admit that he can possess a due sense of economy, although none knows better than an educated soldier the part played in war by a sound and thrifty administration of the national resources.

The soldier, on the other hand, knows that his art is most difficult, that to apply strategical principles correctly experience, study, knowledge of men, and an intimate

acquaintance with questions of supply, transport, and the movement of masses, are absolutely necessary. He is aware that what may seem matters of small moment to the civilian—such as the position of a brigade, the strength of a garrison, the command of a detachment—may affect the whole course of a campaign; and consequently, even if he had not the historical examples of Aulic Councils and other such assemblies to warn him, he would rebel against the meddling of amateurs. Let it not be forgotten that an enormous responsibility rests on the shoulders of a commander in the field: the honour of army committed to his charge, the lives of the brave men under him, perhaps the existence of his country; and that failure, even if he can plead that he only obeyed the orders of his Government, or that he was supplied with inadequate means, will be laid at his door. McDowell received no mercy after Bull Run, although he had protested against attacking the Confederates; and it was long before the reputation of Sir John Moore was cleared in the eyes of the English people.

Such, to my mind, are the most important lessons to be drawn from this history of the first period of the Secession War. But it is not alone to draw attention to the teaching on these points that I have acceded, as an old friend, to Colonel Henderson’s request that I should write an Introduction to his second edition. In these days of sensational literature and superficial study there is a prejudice against the story that fills more than one volume. But the reader who opens these pages is so carried away by the intense interest of the subject, clothed as it is in forcible and yet graceful language, that he closes them with regret; and I am only too glad to ask others to share the very great pleasure I have myself enjoyed in reading them. I know of no book which will add more largely to the soldier’s knowledge of strategy and the art of war; and the ordinary reader will find in this Life of Stonewall Jackson, true and accurate as it is, all the charm and fascination of a great historical romance.

PREFACE

To write the life of a great general, to analyse his methods of war and discipline, to appraise the weight of his responsibilities, and to measure the extent of his capacity, it would seem essential that the experience of the writer should have run on parallel lines. An ordinary soldier, therefore, who notwithstanding his lack of such experience attempts the task, may be justly accused of something worse than presumption. But if we were to wait for those who are really qualified to deal with the achievements of famous captains, we should, as a rule, remain in ignorance of the lessons of their lives, for men of the requisite capacity are few in a generation. So the task, if it is to be done at all, must perforce be left to those who have less knowledge but more leisure.

In the present case, however, the mass of contemporary testimony is so large that any initial disadvantages, I venture to think, will be less conspicuous than they might otherwise have been. The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion contain every dispatch, letter, and message, public or confidential, which has been preserved; and in the daily correspondence of the generals on both sides, together with the voluminous reports of officers of all grades, the tale of the campaigns is written so plain that none can fail to read. Again, Stonewall Jackson’s military career, either in full or in part, has been narrated by more than one of his staff officers, whose intercourse with him was necessarily close and constant; and, in addition, the literature of the war abounds with articles and sketches contributed by soldiers of all ranks

who, at one time or another, served under his command. It has been my privilege, moreover, to visit the battle-fields of Virginia with men who rode by his side when he won his victories, to hear on the spot the description of his manœuvres, of his bearing under fire, and of his influence over his troops. I can thus make fairly certain that my facts are accurate. But in endeavouring to ascertain the strength of the armies at different periods I have been less fortunate. For the most part I have rested on the Official Records;1 it is to be regretted, however, that, so far as the Confederates are concerned, there are several gaps in the series of returns, and I have found it extremely difficult to arrive at a fair estimate of the approximate strength at any period within these intervals. For instance, the numbers at Lee’s disposal at the end of August 1862 rest on the basis of a return dated July 20, and in the meantime several regiments and batteries had been transferred elsewhere, while others had been added. I have done my best, however, to trace all such changes; and where officers and employed men are not included in the returns, I have been careful to add a normal percentage to the official totals.

As regards Jackson’s place in history, my labours have been greatly facilitated by the published opinions of many distinguished soldiers—American, English, French, and German; and I have endeavoured, at every step, as the surest means of arriving at a just conclusion, to compare his conduct of military affairs with that of the acknowledged masters of war. His private life, from his boyhood onwards, has been so admirably depicted by his widow,2 that I have had nothing more to do than to select from her pages such incidents and letters as appear best suited to illustrate his character, and to add a few traits and anecdotes communicated by his personal friends.

Several biographies have already been published, and that written by the late Reverend R. L. Dabney, D.D., sometime Major in the Confederate army, and Jackson’s

1  Referred to in the text as O.R.
Memoirs of Stonewall Jackson. The Prentice Press, Louisville, Kentucky.

Chief of the Staff for several months, is so complete and powerful that the need of a successor is not at once apparent. This work, however, was brought out before the war had ceased, and notwithstanding his intimate relations with his hero, it was impossible for the author to attain that fulness and precision of statement which the study of the Official Records can alone ensure. Nor was Dr. Dabney a witness of all the events he so vigorously described. It is only fitting, however, that I should acknowledge the debt I owe to a soldier and writer of such conspicuous ability. Not only have I quoted freely from his pages, but he was good enough, at my request, to write exhaustive memoranda on many episodes of Jackson’s career.

Cooke’s Life of Jackson is still popular, and deservedly so; but Cooke, like Dr. Dabney, had no access to the Official Records, and his narrative of the battles, picturesque and lifelike as it is, can hardly be accepted as sober history. On the other hand, the several works of the late Colonel William Allan, C.S.A., in collaboration with Major Hotchkiss, C.S.A., are as remarkable for their research and accuracy as for their military acumen; while the volumes of the Southern Historical Society, together with the remarkable series of articles entitled “Battles and Leaders of the Civil War,” written by the leading participants on either side, are a perfect mine of wealth to the historical student. I need hardly add that the memoirs and biographies of both the Federal and Confederate generals, of Lee, Grant, Stuart, Sherman, Johnston, Longstreet, Beauregard, McClellan, Hancock, Pendleton and others, are a necessary complement to the Official Records.

Nevertheless, with all this mass of information at my command, had it not been for the exceeding kindness of the friends and comrades of Stonewall Jackson, I much doubt whether I should have been able to complete my task. To the late Major Hotchkiss, his trusted staff officer, whatever of value these volumes may contain is largely due. Not only did he correct the topographical descriptions, but he investigated most carefully many disputed points; and in procuring the evidence of eye-

witnesses, and thus enabling me to check and amplify the statements of previous writers, he was indefatigable. Dr. Hunter McGuire, Medical Director of Jackson’s successive commands, has given me much of his valuable time. The Reverend J. P. Smith, D.D., Jackson’s aide-de-camp, has rendered me great assistance; and from many officers and men of the Stonewall Brigade, of Jackson’s Division, and of the Second Army Corps, I have received contributions to this memorial of their famous chief. Generals Gustavus Smith, Fitzhugh Lee, Stephen D. Lee, and N. G. Harris, Colonel Williams, Colonel Poague, and R. E. Lee, Esquire, of Washington, D.C., all formerly of the Confederate States Army, have supplied me with new matter. Colonel Miller, U.S.A., most courteously responded to my request for a copy of the services of his regiment, the First Artillery, in the Mexican war. The late General John Gibbon, U.S.A., wrote for me his reminiscences of Jackson as a cadet at West Point, and as a subaltern in Mexico; and many officers who fought for the Union have given me information as to the tactics and discipline of the Federal armies. The Reverend J. Graham, D.D., of Winchester, Virginia; Dr. H. A. White, of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, author of an admirable life of General Lee; and the Hon. Francis Lawley, once Special Correspondent of the Times in the Confederate States, have been most kind in replying to my many questions. To Major-General Hildyard, C.B., late Commandant of the Staff College, I am indebted for much valuable criticism on the campaigns of 1862; and my warmest thanks are here tendered to the Commander-in-Chief, Field-Marshal Lord Wolseley, for much information and more encouragement.

I cannot conceal from myself, however, that notwithstanding the numerous authorities I have been enabled to consult, as well as the intrinsic interest of my subject, many of the following chapters will be found excessively dull by civilian readers. Stonewall Jackson’s military career was not all hard fighting; nor was it on the battlefield alone that his supreme ability for war was made manifest. His time and thoughts were more occupied by strategy, that is, by combinations made out of the enemy’s sight, than by tactics, that is, by maneuvers executed in the enemy’s presence. But strategy, unfortunately, is an unpopular science, even among soldiers, requiring both in practice and in demonstration constant and careful study of the map, the closest computation of time and space, a grasp of many factors, and the strictest attention to the various steps in the problems it presents. At the same time, it is a science which repays the student, although he may have no direct concern with military affairs; for not only will a comprehension of its immutable principles add a new interest to the records of stirring times and great achievements, but it will make him a more useful citizen.

In free countries like Great Britain, her colonies, and the United States, the weight of intelligent opinion, in all matters of moment, generally turns the scale; and if it were generally understood that, in regular warfare, success depends on something more than rank and experience, no Government would dare entrust the command of the army to any other than the most competent soldier. The campaigns of the Civil War show how much may be achieved, even with relatively feeble means, by men who have both studied strategy and have the character necessary for its successful practice; and they also show, not a whit less forcibly, what awful sacrifices may be exacted from a nation ignorant that such a science exists. And such ignorance is widespread. How seldom do we hear a knowledge of strategy referred to as an indispensable acquirement in those who aspire to high command? How often is it repeated, although in so doing the speakers betray their own shortcomings, that strategy is a mere matter of common-sense? Yet the plain truth is that strategy is not only the determining factor in civilised warfare, but that, in order to apply its principles, the soundest common-sense must be most carefully trained. Of all the sciences connected with war it is the most difficult. If the names of the great captains, soldiers and sailors, be recalled, it will be seen that it is to the breadth of their strategical conceptions rather than to their tactical skill that they owe their fame. An analysis of the great wars shows that their course was generally marked by the same vicissitudes. First we have the great strategist, a Hannibal, or a Napoleon, or a Lee, triumphing with inferior numbers over adversaries who are tacticians and nothing more. Then, suddenly, the tide of victory is checked, and brilliant manœuvres no longer avail. Fabius and Scipio, Wellington, Nelson, and St. Vincent, Grant, Sherman, and Farragut, have replaced the mere tacticians; and the superior resources, wielded with strategical skill, exert their inevitable effect. Or it may be that fortune is constant throughout to her first favourite; and that a Marlborough, a Frederick, a Washington, a Moltke, opposed only by good fighting men, never by an accomplished strategist, marches from victory to victory. It is impossible, then, to estimate the ability of any general without considering his strategy. Moreover, in this age of inventions, of rapid movement, and of still more rapid communication, the science is more complicated and even more important than heretofore; and it is deserving, therefore, of far closer attention, from both soldiers and civilians, than it has hitherto received. It is for these reasons that I have described and discussed in such minute detail the strategy of the campaigns with which Jackson had to do.

I have only to add that should anything in these pages wound the susceptibilities of any one of those splendid soldiers and gallant gentlemen who took part in the Civil War, whether he be Northerner or Southerner, I here tender him my humblest apologies; assuring him, at the same time, that while compiling these pages I have always borne in mind the words of General Grant: “I would like to see truthful history written. Such history will do full credit to the courage, endurance, and ability of the American citizen, no matter what section he hailed from, or in what ranks he fought.” I am very strongly of opinion that any fair-minded man may feel equal sympathy with both Federal and Confederate. Both were so absolutely convinced that their cause was just, that it is impossible to conceive either Northerner or Southerner acting otherwise than he did. If Stonewall Jackson had been a New Englander, educated in the belief that secession was rebellion, he would assuredly have shed the last drop of his blood in defence of the Union; if Ulysses Grant had been a Virginian, imbibing the doctrine of States’ rights with his mother’s milk, it is just as certain that he would have worn the Confederate grey. It is with those Northerners who would have allowed the Union to be broken, and with those Southerners who would have tamely surrendered their hereditary rights, that no Englishman would be willing to claim kinship.

CONTENTS

Chapter I.  WEST POINT
Chapter II.  MEXICO. 1846–47
Chapter III.  LEXINGTON. 1851–61
Chapter IV.  SECESSION. 1860–61
Chapter V.  HARPER’S FERRY
Chapter VI.  THE FIRST BATTLE OF MANASSAS OR BULL RUN
Chapter VII.  ROMNEY
Chapter VIII.  KERNSTOWN
Chapter IX.  MCDOWELL
Chapter X.  WINCHESTER
Chapter XI.  CROSS KEYS AND PORT REPUBLIC
Chapter XII.  REVIEW OF THE VALLEY CAMPAIGN
INDEX

Chapter XIII.  THE SEVEN DAYS. GAINES’ MILL
Chapter XIV.  THE SEVEN DAYS. FRAYSER’S FARM AND MALVERN HILL
Chapter XV.  CEDAR RUN
Chapter XVI.  GROVETON AND THE SECOND MANASSAS
Chapter XVII.  THE SECOND MANASSAS (continued)
Chapter XVIII.  HARPER’S FERRY
Chapter XIX.  SHARPSBURG
Chapter XX.  FREDERICKSBURG
Chapter XXI.  THE ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Chapter XXII.  WINTER QUARTERS
Chapter XXIII.  CHANCELLORSVILLE
Chapter XXIV.  CHANCELLORSVILLE (continued)
Chapter XXV.  THE SOLDIER AND THE MAN
INDEX

ILLUSTRATIONS

PORTRAITS

STONEWALL JACKSON, LT.-GENERAL.
STONEWALL JACKSON AT THE AGE OF 24 (from a daguerreotype)

MAPS

THE CITY OF MEXICO.
THE UNITED STATES, 1861.
SITUATION, NIGHT OF JULY 17, 1861.
DISPOSITIONS, MORNING OF JULY 21, 1861.
BULL RUN.
SKETCH OF WEST VIRGINIA IN 1861.
THE VALLEY.
SITUATION, NIGHT OF MARCH 21, 1862.
BATTLE OF KERNSTOWN.
SITUATION, APRIL 30, 1862.
BATTLE OF MCDOWELL.
SITUATION, MAY 18, 1862.
BATTLE OF WINCHESTER.
BATTLES OF CROSS KEYS AND PORT REPUBLIC.

ENVIRONS OF RICHMOND
BATTLE OF GAINES’ MILL
THE SEVEN DAYS. JUNE 26–JULY 2, 1862
BATTLE OF MALVERN HILL
ENVIRONS OF WARRENTON
BATTLE OF CEDAR RUN
SITUATION ON AUGUST 27 (SUNSET), 1862
SITUATION ON AUGUST 28 (SUNSET), 1862
POSITIONS ON AUGUST 29, 1862
GROVETON AND SECOND MANASSAS
POSITIONS ON AUGUST 30, 1862, IN THE ATTACK ON JACKSON
POSITIONS ON AUGUST 30, 1862
HARPERS FERRY
SHARPSBURG
POSITIONS DURING THE ATTACKS OF HOOKER AND MANSFIELD AT SHARPSBURG
FREDERICKSBURG
HOOKERS PLAN OF CAMPAIGN
BATTLE OF CHANCELLORSVILLE

 

 

site stats

 

Site Copyright 2003-2014 Son of the South. For Questions or comments about this collection,

contact: paul@sonofthesouth.net

privacy policy

Are you Scared and Confused? Read My Snake Story, a story of hope and encouragement, to help you face your fears.