31 July 2011

More To Stonewall Jackson Than First Manassas

"Historians and history buffs alike have long struggled with the ambivalence of a man of Jackson’s moral fiber, who came from a slave holding family, owned slaves himself, and yet broke the prevailing laws of Virginia to conduct a weekly Colored Sabbath School, where slaves were taught to read and write while bringing them to a personal knowledge of the Christ."

So said the Washington Times here recently.

(The image is one of lifelong Lexington resident Jefferson Shields, who claimed to be one of Jackson's Sunday school students. The photograph was taken in front of the old Lexington Presbyterian Church Sunday School room before it was torn down in 1906 and is from my private collection. Shields was also a slave and served as a cook in Company H of the 27th Virginia Infantry.) 


Michael Aubrecht said...

Great post Richard. The complexity of Jackson is tremendous. No wonder so many of us spend a lifetime studying him. As both of our books clearly point out, you can think you know this man based upon the mainstream history that you have been taught, and yet there is so much more to him than just a brilliant military commander.

Thomas Gann said...

Like many men in history-Washington,Lee,and even Thomas Jefferson-until you examine Stonewall Jackson's Christianity,you will never truly understand the man.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Michael. BTW, congratulations on your new venture. I hope it meets with great success.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


"until you examine Stonewall Jackson's Christianity, you will never truly understand the man."

You've touched on the essence of Jackson. This is something that Bud Robertson has pointed out over and over. Freeman made a similar observation about Lee:

"Lee was one of the small company of great men in whom there is no inconsistency to be explained, no enigma to be solved. What he seemed, he was — a wholly human gentleman, the essential elements of whose positive character were two and only two, simplicity and spirituality.‎"

This is why so many secularists have such great difficulty understanding these two men, as well as others like them. Thanks for the comment.