From Antietam to Chancellorsville: September 1862 to May 1863

“fighting Joe” Hooker

How important was Stonewall Jackson at this amazing moment?

He had already demonstrated his worth a dozen times, but on that afternoon, he soared into a nearly mythical place in the annals of the Confederacy. Those who laud Jackson do not exaggerate his skill: no one could get men to march longer and fight harder than Stonewall Jackson. Within thirty minutes of launching the attack, Jackson and his aides were halfway to the Rappahannock River, and they believed they might get there by nightfall, driving an enormous wedge between the Northern forces. But fate then intervened.

As Jackson and several aides pressed forward, they encountered a group of their own men, who had taken shelter for a few moments. Very likely Jackson greeted them as he did all his troops, with an admonition to move forward. But they mistook Jackson and his aides for Northern men and fired upon them. Less than a minute was required for those sharpshooters to realize their error, but it was too late. Jackson was down, bleeding from three different wounds. Removed to the rear, he lost his left arm that night.


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