CIVIL WAR OP-ED: Remembering Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson

Thursday, January 3, 2013
By Calvin E. Johnson Jr.

Do you remember the Don William’s country song “Good Ole Boys like me” which begins with the lyrics: “When I was a kid Uncle Remus he put me to bed with a picture of Stonewall Jackson above my head?”

During the month of January students, teachers, parents, Joe and Jane America and the world will hear praise and tribute to the late Civil Rights leader and Baptist Pastor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia…. But, will equal time be given to two more great Americans, General Stonewall Jackson and General Robert E. Lee, who were also born in January?


A portrait of Robert E. Lee adorns the Georgia State Capitol where the Sons of Confederate Veterans held their first Lee birthday celebration in 1988.

The Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans will sponsor the 26th Annual Robert E. Birthday in Milledgeville, Georgia on the actual day of Lee’s birthday, Saturday, January 19, 2013. A march from the Old Governor’s mansion to Georgia’s Old State Capitol will begin at 10:45 AM.

Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are forever memorialized and remembered along with Confederate President Jefferson Davis on the larger than life carving at “Stone Mountain Memorial Park” near Atlanta, Georgia

The Stonewall Brigade Camp 1296 Sons of the Confederate Veterans of Lexington, Virginia is preparing to host the 2013 Lee-Jackson Day events to be held January 18-19, 2013. Read more at:

Be part of a Lee-Jackson event near you!

May 10, 2013, will mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Stonewall Jackson who was accidentally shot by Confederate pickets at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. General Jackson survived with the loss of an arm, but died of complications from pneumonia eight days later. The War Between the States Sesquicentennial, 150th Anniversary, continues through 2015. Read more at:

Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807 at Stratford, Westmoreland County, Virginia and Stonewall Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia.

General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson is considered by Military historians as one of the most gifted tactical commanders in United States history. He was General Robert E. Lee’s right hand during many battles and….

When Stonewall Jackson passed away, General Robert E Lee was quoted as saying "Jackson has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right".

Lee graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York in 1829, second in his class and without a single demerit and Jackson graduated from West Point in 1946, 17th in a class of 59 students.

Robert E. Lee wed Mary Anna Randolph Curtis in June 1831 and Stonewall Jackson married twice. Jackson’s first wife was Elinor Junkin (1824-1854), who died shortly after giving birth to a stillborn son. His second wife, Mary Anna Morrison (1831-1915), was the mother of Julia Laura (1862-1889), the only Jackson child to reach adulthood.

Both men fought valiantly in the War with Mexico. Lee was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec and Jackson just graduating from West Point in 1846 joined the 1st US Artillery as 2nd Lieutenant and served under General Winfield Scott.

Robert E. Lee was appointed superintendent of West Point in 1852.

Stonewall Jackson taught at Virginia Military Institute beginning on August 13, 1851. He taught natural and experimental philosophy (related to modern day physics and including physics, astronomy, acoustics, optics, and other scientific courses).

General Winfield Scott offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union Army in 1861, but he refused. Lee would command the legendary Army of Northern Virginia for the Confederacy.

General Stonewall Jackson secured great victories at the Battles of Manassas, Antietam and at Fredericksburg.

Robert E. Lee was called Marse Robert, Uncle Robert and Marble Man.

General Jackson earned his nickname “Stonewall” at the First Battle of Manassas in July 1861 when he rushed his troops forward to close a gap in the line against a Union attack. Upon observing Jackson, one of his fellow generals reportedly said, "Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall!"-Jackson was commissioned a major general in October 1861.

Robert E. Lee died of a heart attack at 9:30 on the morning of October 12, 1870, at Washington-Lee College and is buried at Lee Chapel.

Jackson’s body laid in state at the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond for the public view, and he was then moved to be buried in 1863 at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.

Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s last words were: “Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”

God bless these men, our nation’s heroes! 

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By |2013-01-09T21:24:07+00:00January 9th, 2013|News|Comments Off on News 2801