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An account of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's rise to prominence during the Civil War.
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the epic New York Times bestselling account of how Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson became a great and tragic national hero. Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon—even Robert E. Lee—he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country’s greatest military figures. In April 1862, however, he was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. But by June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. Jackson’s strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future. In his “magnificent Rebel Yell…S.C. Gwynne brings Jackson ferociously to life” (New York Newsday) in a swiftly vivid narrative that is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict among historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson’s private life and traces Jackson’s brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.
Presents a narrative profile of the legendary Civil War general that shares insights into his military achievements, role in Confederate identity, and universally mourned death.
Provides an in-depth look at the Civil War general which dispells many of the rumors surrounding him
While Jackson was a cadet at West Point, he collected maxims as part of his quest for status as a gentleman, and in the mid-1850s he carefully inscribed these maxims in a personal notebook, which disappeared after his death in 1863. Subsequent generations assumed this notebook was a casualty of time, but in the 1990s, during his research for a biography of Jackson, the author discovered the long-lost book of maxims in the archives of Tulane University.Jackson's maxims are reproduced here as he wrote them. Accompanying each are insights into the man, including the origin of the adage, one or more quotations that parallel the maxim, how Jackson may have applied the idea to his own life, and how certain maxims offer insights into the mind fo the man.
Profiles the life and military career of the Confederate Army General, describes how he won the nickname "Stonewall," and traces his role in the Confederate victories of 1861-1863.
Historians' attempts to understand legendary Confederate General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson have proved uneven at best and often contentious. An occasionally enigmatic and eccentric college professor before the Civil War, Jackson died midway through the conflict, leaving behind no memoirs and relatively few surviving letters or documents. In Inventing Stonewall Jackson, Wallace Hettle offers an innovative and distinctive approach to interpreting Stonewall by examining the lives and agendas of those authors who shape our current understanding of General Jackson. Newspaper reporters, friends, relatives, and fellow soldiers first wrote about Jackson immediately following the Civil War. Most of them, according to Hettle, used portions of their own life stories to frame that of the mythic general. Hettle argues that the legend of Jackson's rise from poverty to power was likely inspired by the rags-to-riches history of his first biographer, Robert Lewis Dabney. Dabney's own successes and Presbyterian beliefs probably shaped his account of Jackson's life as much as any factual research. Many other authors inserted personal values into their stories of Stonewall, perplexing generations of historians and writers. Subsequent biographers contributed their own layers to Jackson's myth and eventually a composite history of the general came to exist in the popular imagination. Later writers, such as the liberal suffragist Mary Johnston, who wrote a novel about Jackson, and the literary critic Allen Tate, who penned a laudatory biography, further shaped Stonewall's myth. As recently as 2003, the film Gods and Generals, which featured Jackson as the key protagonist, affirmed the longevity and power of his image. Impeccable research and nuanced analysis enable Hettle to use American culture and memory to reframe the Stonewall Jackson narrative and provide new ways to understand the long and contended legacy of one of the Civil War's most popular Confederate heroes.

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