Lacey and I studied the civil war for several weeks this past spring and enjoyed a couple fun field trips that really brought this historical time to life for us. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of history, I used to sleep in my high school class but still managed to pass it somehow. But, the civil war has been very interesting and I’m actually spending some of my free time learning more about it.
Stonewall Jackson has caught my attention, possibly since there is so much local history about this great man. Before we move into the twentieth century in history class, I wanted to review the civil war, finish our study on this topic and visit Jackson’s Mill.
I recently finished this great book, Beloved Bride- The Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife.
I have read other accounts of Stonewall Jackson but this book clearly shows his strong faith in his heavenly father and his love and deep devotion to his wife, daughter, soldiers and his country. His testimony is an inspiration and great example to us all. I wrote the following notes and facts from this book and I highly recommend it if you have the chance to pick up a copy. Also, his wife wrote a biography titled, “The Life and Letters of Stonewall Jackson”, that I hope to check out soon. One other biography that has high reviews is by James Robertson, “Stonewall Jackson- the Man, the Soldier, the Legend.” All three of these books can be purchased on Amazon.
Despite his rough childhood, Thomas Jonathan Jackson grew up to be a godly man, husband, father and leader. At age 3 his older sister and father died. Just 4 short years later, his mother passed away and he then went to live with his uncle. In later years, he faithfully served as a deacon in his church and taught a Sunday school class. His life goal was to serve God and his country. As a young man, he married in 1853 but tragedy would strike just one year later. His wife gave birth to a still born son and she then passed away within hours. Althought heart broken, his faith was not shaken. He often quoted scripture such as Romans 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
He was well known as a man of prayer and no matter was too small to bring before God. I think we need this reminder even today. He was content, despite his circumstances in the war. Stonewall soon became a great leader and example to many. He was known to quote the apostle Paul, “I glory in tribulations”, and he looked to the apostle for strength, encouragement and as an example to follow. He believed that Christians should never complain and advised others to keep their eyes fixed on God. He recognized and appreciated God’s beautiful creation, amidst the bloody civil war. He was deeply concerned about the spiritual welfare of his men. He often preached to them about his heavenly father and held services to offer thanks for the victories and prayers for continued success until independence had been established. He was called brave and beloved by his soldiers, they were devoted and had great affection for him. He was very grateful to God for the promotion to General and remained a humble servant to Him. He never failed to give God the glory for his battle victories and constant protection.
He was admired and loved by people around the world. He continually received gifts
throughout the war, that may have never been available otherwise. He stated that, “God is the source of every blessing.” His greatest blessing though was a young woman that became his beloved bride in 1857. They would be married for six years until his death in 1863. Anna Morrison Jackson lived until 1915. Their godly testimony continues to inspire and teach Christian families even until today. As shown in his letters in this book, he was a very loving husband and gentleman that prayed for his wife. He would often share sermons with his wife (by letters) while they were separated. It was noted that he would remind his wife to tithe at least one tenth of their income while he was away. He would not mail a letter though if he thought it would travel on Sunday, the Sabbath. This was a day to be set apart and honored. He wrote letters to many other people during the war besides his wife, including his pastor. He encouraged ministers to become army chaplains in the field. His pastor said that “his faith not only made him brave, but gave form, order, direction and power to his whole life.”
The Jackson’s had an infant daughter that died of jaundice. In November 1862, they were blessed with a healthy baby girl. Again, he expressed that, “God is the source of every blessing.” He would finally meet his beloved daughter when she was five months old, shortly before he died. At age 39, Stonewall Jackson was accidentally killed by his own troops. They opened fire in the dark, suspecting that the Yankees were attacking. As he lay dying, his wife read the book of Psalms to him and sang hymns of comfort and peace. At this time, he again expressed his desire for others to sanctify the Lord’s day.
The greatest quote from Stonewall Jackson in this book, in my opinion, that is quite relevant still today is; “Oh, that our country was such a Christian, God fearing people as it should be.”