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American History Stories, Volume IV by  Mara L. Pratt


 

 

"STONEWALL JACKSON" IS KILLED.

I almost dread to take you back to see what the army of the Potomac has been doing all this time. While this Army of the West had been so full of success, the Eastern army had met only with defeat.

McClellan, you remember, had been taken from the command, and Burnside had been put in his place. Burnside had made that one unfortunate attack upon Lee in Fredericksburg, and had then settled down in huts by the river side for the winter. Burnside had never felt that he was equal [123] to the guiding of such an army, and now at the beginning of this year, 1863, he resigned his position; and Gen. Hooker—called "Fighting Joe"—was given the command.

Gen. Hooker was wide awake. He began at once getting the army in training for a new start.

His first move was to quietly cross the river, and creep up to Lee's army in Fredericksburg. This he did with such success, that Lee knew nothing about it, till he heard the army at Chancellorsville, just outside of Fredericksburg.

Lee did not care to he attacked in the city; so he marched out to meet Hooker. This attack was managed by "Stonewall Jackson," the General whose very name the Union soldiers had learned to fear.

All day long the battle raged; and a sad day it was for the Union soldiers. Just at its close, Jackson, who had been the very life of the battle, was hurrying towards a company of his own men, when they, mistaking him in the smoke and fire of the battle for a Union man, fired upon him. He was terribly wounded; but, lived on for several days, full of hope to the very last that he should yet be able to take his place again in the battle field.

When Lee heard that Jackson had lost his left arm he wrote to him, "You have lost your left arm; but I, in losing you, have lost my right arm."

Indeed, the loss of Stonewall Jackson was a death blow to Lee, and to the Confederate cause. Gaining ten battles [124] could not make up for it. Jackson, sturdy old soldier that he was, believing fully in the Confederate side, loving his State flag with all his heart, was indeed the General of the Confederates. Wherever he was, rallying his men, there was sure to be victory. Powerful, honest, brave soldier that he was, it seems a pity that his life should have been lost in fighting for a wrong cause.


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