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Thread: Charge! and Remember Jackson.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Western Pa.

    Default Charge! and Remember Jackson.

    Lieutenant-GeneralThomas Jonathan ‘Stonewall’ Jackson was the greatest martyr of our Cause, thefirst icon of the War for Southern Independence. He was the archetypalChristian soldier; there is infinite wisdom to be gleaned from his life. Indeath, he has ascended to the status of myth; even in life, as a chaplain onceexpressed, “Nobody seemed to understand him…when we ordinary mortals cannot comprehenda genius, we get even with him by calling him crazy.”

    Jackson was a consuming fire, as displayed by one of his favorite maxims, “Press forward.” He did not believe in retreat, but rather in aggressive, vigorous pursuit, to reap “the fruits of victory” and “secure the blessing”; the enemy “never [ran] too fast” for him. As a contemporary observer noted, he “lived by the New Testament, and fought by the Old.” When he first received his commission as Colonel of the Virginians, an official asked, “Who is this Major Jackson?” His query was answered forthwith: “One who, if you order him to hold a post, will never leave it alive to be occupied by the enemy.” A running joke among our men was that Satan himself had sent Jackson a petition urging him to stop inundating him with Yankees; Hell was running out of room. He believed that the Confederacy must wage an offensive war, not the defensive war that his superiors became trapped within; he knew that “we must make it an exceedingly active one. Only thus can a weaker country cope with a stronger; it must make up in activity what it lacks in strength.” He persistently asked for more men, with whom he desired to invade the North and take Washington. Upon assuming his command, he advocated a take-no-prisoners policy, believing that “if the war is carried on with vigor, under the blessing of God, it will not last long.” Defending the Maryland Heights at Harper’s Ferry, Jackson recommended a Thermopylae to evince our determination to resist. This audacity made carnage into his cradle; as R.L. Dabney put it, “as the fire grew hotter, he rejoiced in it as his coveted opportunity.”

    Heconsistently exposed himself to fire, risking his life by riding among hisbatteries. At Cedar Run, with sword drawn, he cried, “Rally, brave men, andpress forward! Your General will lead you…Follow me!” General Longstreet onceasked him if the multitudes of Federals did not frighten him; he replied, “Weshall see very soon, whether I shall not frighten them.” At First Manassas,South Carolinian General Bee exclaimed, “General, they are beating us back!”Jackson’s stoically replied, “Then we will give them the bayonet.” Bee relayedthis perseverance to the men, thereby giving Jackson his moniker: “There isJackson standing like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians. Let usdetermine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me.” During this samebattle, we have one of the earliest known ‘compositions’ of the fabled rebelyell; Jackson urged his men to “give them the bayonet; when you charge, yelllike furies!” We may only imagine what this joyful noise sounded like, as ourclosest approximation is a Smithsonian Institution recording of Confederateveterans reproducing it at a gathering in the 1930s

    Jacksonwas a purely brilliant warrior; war was his calling. It is instructive that hewas felled not by any Yankee bullet, but rather by his own men; he denied ourenemy that pleasure. While Jackson lived, Lee neither won without him nor lostwith him; Grant the butcher never faced him. Lee trusted him to accomplish theends, without ever needing to instruct him as to the means. Indeed, uponhearing of Jackson’s wounding, Lee sent him a note stating that “could I havedirected events, I should have chosen, for the good of the country, to havebeen disabled in your stead.” Lee noted that Jackson had “lost his left arm;but I have lost my right arm.” He was confident that Jackson would recover,because surely, he believed, “God will not take him from us, now that we needhim so much.” Somehow, he knew that without Jackson, our Cause would be lost. Jackson,however, knew no such thing; his last order was, “You must keep your mentogether, and hold your ground.” In delirium as he lay dying, he urged, “Doyour duty.” His men did not disappoint; his Stonewall Brigade used as theirrallying cry in battles to come, “Charge; and remember Jackson!”

    Jackson’ssupernatural fearlessness was just that: supernatural. It came not from thisfallen world, but from his total faith in that which is to come; in Dabney’swords, his faith was “the substance of things anticipated, and the evidence ofthings not seen.” He surrendered himself before God; this faith, however, wasnot the apathy of fatalism, but rather the passionate optimism that comes fromtrusting God, “who doeth all things well.” Precisely because of God’s promise“to make all things work together for good to them that love Him”, Jackson didnot allow his peace to “be disturbed by anything which man can do unto him”; hewrote that “nothing earthly can mar my happiness. I know that heaven is instore for me; and I should rejoice in the prospect of going there tomorrow…lifeis very bright to me. But, still, I am ready to leave it any day, withouttrepidation or regret.” He kept his eyes fixed not on the toils of the day, “lightafflictions which are but for a moment”, but “upon the throne of God”, “a farmore exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” After all, as Jackson said, “IfGod be for us, who can be against us?” It is this from which his unparalleledbravery was derived. God gave him serenity in the midst of chaos, and he wasjust as at home on the blood-spattered battlefield as if he were in bed. Onematron observed that Jackson was “ready to meet his God; his lamp is burning,and he waits for the bridegroom.”

    When the bridegroom inevitably arrived, Jackson resigned himself to “whatever is necessary”; remarkably, he said that “it has been a precious experience to me, that I was brought face to face with death, and found all was well.” His death was our loss, but his gain; he, as all Christians must, regarded his death as a reward, a translation. He believed that “it has been done according to God’s holy will, and I acquiesce entirely in it…you never saw me more contented than I am today; for I am sure that my Heavenly Father designs this affliction for my good…what is now regarded as a calamity, is a blessing.” Jackson even went so far as to say that if he could, he would not replace his left arm unless he could be absolutely sure that it was the will of God. He did not fear death, and yet he did not expect to die; he was “persuaded the Almighty has yet a work for me to perform.” And when death slipped over him, when God called him home, with perfect grace, he looked into his beloved wife’s eyes once more and said clearly, “Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.” His attitude is best expressed in an 1859 letter written to his wife: “You must not be discouraged. All things work together for good to God’s children…the afflictions of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Try to look up and be cheerful, and not desponding. Trust our kind Heavenly Father, and by the eye of faith see that all things with you are right, and for your best interest…the clouds come, pass over us, and are followed by bright sunshine…He permits us to have trouble awhile, but let us, even in the most trying dispensations of His providence, be cheered by the brightness which is a little ahead.”

    Jackson’s death was a tragic blow from which we did not, perhaps could not, recover; his mourning country could only ask, “Why?” Dabney captures the shock by describing what Jackson was to his countrymen, “the man of destiny, the anointed of God to bring in deliverance for his oppressed Church and Country”, proof of the righteousness of their Cause. Some believed that God delivered him from the evil that was to come, the calamity that was to unfold. Some saw his death as the translation that was to be rewarded a model Christian. Some felt that we were unworthy of his greatness to walk among us, to serve us. Dabney wrote that “his fall in the midst of the great struggle for the existence of his country, and in the morning of his usefulness and fame, has appeared…a fearful mystery. But if his own interests be regarded, it will appear a time well chosen for God to call him to his rest; when his powers were in their undimmed prime, and his glory at its zenith; when his greatest victory had just been won; and the last sounds which reached him from the outer world were the thanksgivings and blessings of a nation in raptures with his achievements, in tears for his fall.” Jackson himself would most certainly tell us to stop fussing and carry on, as it is only for God to know.

    Jackson prayed zealously, asking blessings and offering thanksgivings even in the midst of battle; before every decision, he prayed to God, his only counsel. There probably never was a man who so stringently kept the Sabbath. He assiduously refrained from praising himself; praise was reserved only for God, and for his men; another of his maxims was, “Let another praise thee, and not thyself.” With reference to the supremacy of God, Jackson gave credit where due; as he so often said, “Give God the glory.” He knew that “if we fail to trust in God, and to give Him all the glory, our Cause is ruined”, for God, not luck or even his brilliance, was his shield. After First Manassas, he made sure to write that “all the glory is due to God alone”; at Second Manassas, when a soldier declared that “this day has been won by nothing but stark and stern fighting”, Jackson immediately replied, “No, it has been won by nothing but the blessing and protection of Providence.” Jackson referred to Chancellorsville, his last battle, as “the most successful military movement of my life…I feel that His hand led me; let us give Him the glory.”

    For Jackson, the War for Southern Independence was a Crusade, a holy war waged on behalf of the Lord. Having dedicated himself and “all that I have…to the service of God”, he would never have fought for our Cause if he was not absolutely certain that it lay, as Dabney said, “under the disposal of Divine Providence.” With independence, Jackson wanted to “make us that people whose God is the Lord”; the pharisaic apostate Yankees, having turned away from God, “deserve[d] the agonies of perdition”. To Jackson, the War was his, and our, duty to God; another of his guiding maxims was, “Duty is ours; consequences are God’s.” Jackson, a true soldier of the cross, desired to transform the entire Confederate Army into the “Army of the living God, as well as of its country.” He believed that the Christian should “carry his religion into everything”, that “Christianity makes man better in any lawful calling”, and that the Bible “furnished men with rules for everything”, no matter the situation. Jackson saw preaching as the highest calling one could have, a position equal to no other; as such, he was deeply committed to evangelizing and converting the Army; with a Christian Army struggling for the highest Cause, victory would be assured. He believed that if the Confederate government would “acknowledge the God of the Bible as its God, we may expect soon to be a happy and independent people.”

    Theultimate goal, service in the name of Christ, was thus never out of mind; asJackson wrote, “Whilst we attach so much importance to being free from temporalbondage, we must attach far more to being free from the bondage of sin.” He wasinstrumental in initiating and maintaining the revival that swept like wildfirethrough the Army. The reformed commands were by all accounts the greatest;profanity and drunkenness gave way to order, discipline, and Biblical study.Dabney wrote that the Army was transformed from the timeless seat of vice andinfidelity and “made the home and source of the religious life of a nation,evidence of the favor of God to the afflicted people.” Not since the Crusadeshad anything like this occurred, and we certainly have no examples after ourCause was lost. This proxy war between God and Satan is fully exposed when wecompare the conduct of our soldiers of the cross with the vicious rapine andplunder of our brutal enemy. Hollow war criminals like Sherman and Sheridan,under the banners of the butcher Grant and the tyrant Lincoln, perpetrated andpresided over the most massive tragedy our nation has ever experienced. Ourlivestock massacred wholesale, our farms razed, our homes ransacked, our fieldssalted, our cities leveled, our women raped, and two generations of our bestmen extinguished. We still have not recovered the wealth that wassystematically looted from us. These villains cannot hold a candle to theincorruptible Jackson, the chivalrous Lee, the honorable Forrest, theuncompromising Davis. As Lord Lindsay remarked, we were “rose nobles of gold,against crooked sixpences.”

    Asaforementioned, it is of the utmost importance that this, the purest of men, was
    , the hero of our Cause; he was so confident in the divinity of ourCause that he looked forward to presenting himself before the Lord when thetime came. Jackson was not a secessionist at first, and prayed to avoid war,which he knew as “the sum of all evils”, but he knew that “if the governmentshould persist in the measures threatened, there must be a war…we shall have noother alternative; we must fight.” War was not something to be sought, butrather the last recourse in a world in which no political defenses remained. Afterall, Virginia’s motto was and remains
    sic semper tyrannis
    . Jacksonwitnessed the execution of the subsequently canonized terrorist John Brown,that emblem of the Yankee character, or as Dabney put it, “the Moloch ofFederal ambition”, “fanaticism set on fire of hell.” He saw the hatred rainingupon the Southern people from Northern pulpits and presses; he saw radicalegalitarianism on the march, that evil which, again in Dabney’s words, “underthe name of equality, would subject all the rights of individuals to the willof the many, and acknowledged no law nor ethics, save the lust of that mobwhich happens to be the larger.” All of this should sound familiar to those ofus who keep abreast of the news in our nation each day. The Christian South,Dabney wrote, “saw the mighty beast gathering his forces for the bound upon hisprey, yet they calmly stepped before his jaws”; against odds that wouldoverwhelm anyone else, Jackson and our forefathers nonetheless fought, menagainst and out of time.

    Theygave everything for our posterity, for our birthright, because they understood theconsequences, the utter devastation that would be wrought by our enemy. Theyunderstood that the state had been seized and weaponized against them, thatthose institutions which should have served as their guarantors had been usurped,made into their devourers. They understood that Northern capitalism stood withknives out for Southern agrarianism. They saw plainly that ruthless mercantilefinance disguised as abolitionism hungrily licking its lips in rapturousanticipation of the eviscerated Southern lifeblood that would whet its appetiteand slake its thirst, grist for its dark satanic mill. They understood that theYankees threatened wholesale slaughter and pillage, “the extermination of awhole people’s national life”; they understood that their homes were threatenedwith annihilation, that, again in Dabney’s words, “the most powerful moralforces of the soul would be evoked to sustain the struggle.” Against the threatof the extended director’s cut of the John Brown raid, against the basest lustsand Mammon-worship, we fought for hearth and home. We fought for the Foundingprinciples, for freedom
    , not freedom
    ; Jackson himselfreferred to the War as “our second War of Independence”. We fought for God andthe organic hierarchy that grounded our society. Jackson was sustained in thestruggle through his faith, but also by his outrage at the barbarous inhumanityof the Yankee. As his men entered what was once Romney, Virginia, “scarcelyanything appeared by which it could be recognized by its own children, save theeverlasting hills which surround it.''

    Asa cadet at West Point, Jackson kept a book of maxims; chief among them was,“You may be whatever you resolve to be.” Throughout his life, Jackson continuedto write, “I can accomplish whatever I will to do.” This optimistic gritdefined him; he was happy, never despairing, always, as he said, “expecting theblessing at the last moment.” Another of his maxims: “Hope springs immortal inthe human breast.” He was deeply committed to the truth, believing that it,just as Christ, would always prevail. He made sure never to lie; while otherofficers worried that news of his grievous wounds would spread and demoralizethe Army, he ordered them to “tell them simply that you have a woundedConfederate officer”, thus accomplishing the goal without working deception.Jackson inspired extraordinary devotion from his men. When he was wounded, hehad to be evacuated on a litter while under enemy fire; three of his attendantslaid him down and covered him with their own bodies to protect him. AsJackson’s casket, wreathed with tears and draped by the very first model of thenew second national flag, lay in state at the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond(now occupied by Leftist infanticide promoter Ralph Northam), a veteran of hisold division appeared. He was told that he was too late, that the visitationwas over; he lifted the stump of his amputated right arm to heaven, and cried,“By this arm, which I lost for my country, I demand the privilege of seeing myGeneral once more.” Needless to say, his request was complied with.

    Thisdevotion was at least partially inspired by Jackson’s sacrificial self-denial.The Bible verse that most accurately serves as a guiding light in ourunderstanding this is Matthew 8:20:
    The foxes have holes, and the birds ofthe air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head
    . Thedisciple cannot, indeed, must not, live a life of comfort. Jackson served Godand country, and relinquished that place where he laid his head, precisely forthe posterity of Dixieland, so that his countrymen could retain their nests andholes. He placed himself and all that he possessed at the service of hiscountry. He was modest in all things; one of his last requests was that the“Stonewall” moniker be attached to the brigade, and not himself. Hisself-denial verged on asceticism. He did not drink spirits, saying of liquor,“I like it; I always did; and that is the reason I never use it”, and that hewas “more afraid of it than of Federal bullets.” He wholeheartedly subscribedto the maxim, “Govern yourself absolutely, and you will not suffer.” Heattended parties as a matter of social duty, but he always politely stoodapart; as an observer noted, he was “in the gay throng, but not of it.”

    Jacksonwas also devoted to his men in kind. He once asked, “Who could not conquer,with such troops as these?” He never spoke proudly of himself, but said of hismen that they “sometimes fail to drive the enemy from their position; but theenemy are never able to drive my men from theirs.” He led by example, as setforth in yet another of his maxims, “He who would govern must himself set theexample”; he never took a furlough, reasoning that “as my officers and soldiersare not permitted to visit their wives and families, I ought not to see mine.” Whenhe was wounded, he made sure that others were attended to first; even whenfatally injured, he said, “Don’t trouble yourself about me”, “I can wait”, and,“Never mind, it is a trifle.” He bore his pain silently, only complaining once,groaning when his litter was dropped. After Kernstown, a surgeon suggested thathe evacuate the troops. To this, he replied, “The Army stays here till the lastwounded man is removed. Before I will leave them to the enemy, I will lose manymen more.” This stands in stark contrast to the depraved conduct of Yankeeofficers like the butcher Grant, throwing wave after wave of men into ameat-grinder to die.

    Once,shortly after assuming command, Jackson was approached by a confused youngcorporal; graciously, he taught the young man all of his salutes andinstructions before sending him on his merry way. En route to First Manassas,outside Paris, Virginia, Jackson alone spent the night on guard duty, saying,“Let the poor fellows sleep; I will guard the camp myself.” A final anecdoterelated by the eminently quotable Dabney relays to us all that we need know ofJackson: the night before Chancellorsville, “Jackson, with his usualself-forgetfulness, had left his quarters, his mind absorbed in the care of theArmy, without any of those provisions of overcoat or blanket, which theprofessional soldier is usually so careful to attach to his saddle. He now laydown at the foot of a pine tree, without covering. An adjutant urged upon himhis overcoat; but he, with persistent politeness, declined it. He then detachedthe large cape, and spread it over the General, retaining the body of thegarment for himself. The General remained quiet until the adjutant fell asleep,when he arose and spread the cape upon him, and resumed his place withoutcovering. In the morning he awoke chilled, and found that he had contracted acold, but made no remark upon it.” When Jackson’s haversack was opened afterhis death, all that it contained were some official documents and twogospel-tracts.

    OurCause, that for which Jackson gave his life, seems darker now than ever before.We went to war for much less in 1861 than the humiliation and indignities weare forced to suffer today; the same divide still exists, though much amplifiedand much more intractable. We must wonder what Jackson would do, were he to seewhat has become of his Virginia. She is fallen, degraded in the ultimatehumiliation, though not, we hope, the final defeat. She has been colonized bythe Yankee Leviathan, that ever-metastasizing cancerous Blob whose tentaclesemanate from Washington, D.C. She has been deluged with aliens, her cities nowas Southern as America is American. The fields and forests that our forefathersfrolicked in as children have been leveled, dirty parking lots and tenementserected in their place; the farmers are supplanted by MS-13 brutes. Little didthe Yankee know that by driving Old Dixie down, he had sown the demise of OldGlory. As Jackson did, though, we must keep the faith and carry the fire. Wemust heed Lee’s words, offered in memorial to his fallen compatriot: “Lost tous…his spirit still lives…let his name be a watchword… [for our] invincibledetermination to do everything in the defense of our beloved country.” Charge, andremember Jackson; for long after the rebel yell has ceased to ring through thepiney wood, I’ll take my stand to live and die in Dixie.

    ''... I believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people...are a safeguard to the continuance of a free government...whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast Republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.''- Gen. Robert E. Lee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Providence, R.I.


    So who's side was God on during this war?
    Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium.
    I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.

    I think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard was not what I meant.

    “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”
    Gandalf the Grey

    My Disqus channel:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by Bezukhov View Post
    So who's side was God on during this war?
    Already been asked and answered.
    Wise Men Still Seek Him

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