Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 12, 1863: Mourning Stonewall Jackson



The South continues to mourn the loss of Stonewall Jackson. Jackson, notoriously cranky and combative in life, has been advanced to the grade of secular saint. From Richmond's Daily Dispatch:
Gen. Jackson.

Words have no power to express the emotion which the death of Jackson has aroused in the public mind. The heart of our whole people bleeds over the fallen hero, whom they loved so well because he so loved their cause, and vindicated it, not only with vast energy and courage, but with the most complete self-abnegation, simplicity, and single-mindedness. There was such an entire absence of pretension, vanity, ambition, and self in every shape about Gen. Jackson, that he had become a popular idol. The affections of every house-hold in the nation were twined about this great and unselfish warrior, who, two years ago, was an unknown man! He has fallen, and a nation weeps, but not as those without hope. No grave more glorious can a soldier ask than the lap of victory; no future brighter than that which awaits one who united with the soldier the saint!

Nor is the loss to his country, great as it is, irreparable. No doubt the puerile Yankee will be encouraged to believe that, now that Jackson is dead, the subjugation of the South is certain. Let them cross the Rappahannock again, and the delusion will be dispelled. The veterans of Jackson's corps, the men whom he led and loved, will show at the first opportunity whether or not they are capable of avenging his death. True it is that amongst the galaxy of Confederate stars one has disappeared, but others are left equal in magnitude and brilliancy, and, as the darkness deepens, still others will be revealed, of which we now know as little as we did two years ago of the one we have lost. At the head of our armies is still the great Commander-in-Chief, whose masterly combinations Jackson assisted to execute with unsurpassed vigor and success. Around him are clustered a group of such men as Longstreet, Stuart, Hill, and others, and, no doubt, not a few in the ranks, (for this war has been the best kind of military school,) who will yet achieve a renown fully equal to that of the departed hero. Most of Napoleon's great Marshals were unknown men, and arose from the ranks, and why should not the Southern army, whose privates are in such large measure men of education as well as spirit, equal and even surpass in these respects the armies of France. Only let us cease to idolize man, and put our trust in that Providence which Jackson so constantly and reverently acknowledged as the hope and sheet anchor of our cause.

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