The American Civil War of 1861-1865 is considered as a central event in the history of the Americans. It was made to determine what kind of nation America would be; whether a sovereign nation made of states or an indivisible national government. There were many generals commissioned in the American Civil War such as Robert Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and William Sherman. They led troops and were major decision-makers in determining the outcome of most civil battles. Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson was a veteran of the Mexican War of 1846-1848. He was an instructor at the Virginia Military Institute and worked as a general under Robert Lee during the American Civil War. Jackson was among the ablest leaders, and he earned his nickname “Stonewall” during a battle at Manassas in 1861. He was earnest and single-minded and very different from the soldiers of his time. His men accidentally wound him during a battle at Chancellorsville in 1863 where he lost his arm and, as a result, he died eight days later due to the complications of the injury. He died as a martyr and thus he is an iconic figure in the southern culture. Thomas Jackson’s military intelligence, bravery, and ability to lead made him one of the most important and successful generals of the Civil War.
Thomas Jackson earned his nickname because of his bravery at Bull Run battle. His fellow soldiers accidentally wounded him at Chancellorsville. He was an outstanding leader and a brilliant tactician who led some of the renown war campaigns that has earned him a place in the military history. He did not choose army because he wanted to be a soldier but rather he longed to sharpen his character as a man. Being in the military offered him the best opportunity for respect and success. Stonewall Jackson is recognized for his military acumen, but his decisions during battles and his career were shaped by his character. The war did not define him but made efforts to explain the war.
Moreover, Thomas Jackson was intelligent with a great talent, careful mind, and ability to make quick, informed, and correct decisions on the battlefield. These skills and tactics made him successful in any decision he made. He was appointed as a second lieutenant who led the United States in the first Artillery Regiment. He has won more battlefield promotions than any other American militant during the war. He knew all tactics of war and his character and intelligence helped him. He displayed calmness in the battles. Even when he was hit, he encouraged his men to fight claiming that he was not hurt. His intelligence and bravery could not be questioned. Stonewall remains to be successful in the history of American Civil War. He led by example. He was always on the battlefield with his officers. Unlike many leaders, he would have stayed behind to let his subjects fight, but Jackson leadership skills made him succeed even when he was hit because he continued encouraging the others to persist and fight.
Jackson Stonewall drew his leadership skills from Christian principles. It was during the Mexican War that he reinforced his beliefs. He was an ideal Christian soldier with the model of a Christian man. His actions on the battlefield were guided and grounded by his faith. Jackson fought in the Old Testament but lived in the New Testament. His faith taught him to be faithful, warm, and dutiful to his military career and his family too. Some battles were tense and led them was hard, but Stonewall kept steady and brave until he conquered the enemy. Many of subjects asked him how he managed to survive and stay calm during the war, and he responded that his faith in Christianity and firm belief in God made him safe on the battlefield. Even at this point of death, he was at peace in the same way in war.
Moreover, his bravery was shown in Shenandoah Valley when he punished and tied up the Union army. This was a major campaign that is still studied up to today. His constant and relentless attacks instilled fear into the hearts of the Union command. The union responded by detaching a large number of their members in fear that Jackson would attack them. No one knew where Jackson was and what he could do next. They probably thought that he was tired of fighting. To Thomas Stonewall, this was a genius military tactic that was central to his unconventional approach to warfare. He correctly understood the human nature and he valued the fog of war which many men would not know or share in his calmness during the war. This was his brilliant and intelligent approach to war as he would always stir up the war and make it hot for his enemies. With the approach, he was always successful.
Furthermore, Thomas Jackson intelligence was portrayed in his many brilliant strategic plans. He orchestrated the Confederate attack at Chancellorsville in 1863. He planned a risky maneuver by persuading General Lee to split his army and sending Jackson’s soldiers to attack the Union while he held some corps. The number for the battle was few that put many to fear of being defeated. However, Jackson formed a surprise attack with a quick strike that led to the collapse of the Union. Jackson acquired some leadership skills from United States Military Academy at West Point. He was offered educational and career opportunities that were a stepping stone to his success (Katcher 2). Though he was prepared poorly academically when he entered the academy, his immense powers of concentration and memory helped him, and he was ranked seventeen in a class of fifty-nine in his graduation and was assigned to the first US Artillery.
His leadership, bravery, and intelligence made him be put in charge of new recruits when the Civil War broke out in 1861. He commanded five Virginia regiments, and his troop was given the Stonewall Brigade because it never retreated. He believed discipline was central to military success, and he taught his soldiers that they should train to respond to what they are ordered to do instantly. This made him a successful leader as his fellows were ready to meet and act on orders even on the battlefield. This was a brilliant idea and strategy Jackson used to bring victory in his times. His brigade grew famous even when at Confederate lines while the situation seemed to crumble, he ordered his men to maintain the discipline of being firm. It was unfortunate that the Stonewall Brigade suffered more injuries than any other Confederate unit that day; and as a result, Jackson was promoted to Major General to command the Valley District. His strong leadership qualities accelerated him to his success with his spirit of bravery being an important factor.
During the war in Mexico, Jackson fearless conduct at the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847 made him recognized for his bravery. He was young, but he displayed intense ambition and desire for distinction. He was brave and inflexible especially in his decisions that made him resign from the army and serve as an instructor at Virginia. Also, his subordinates found him rigid, demanding, and secretive to a point that they were not willing to carry out his orders. However, this was his leadership skills that made him different from the others. He successfully won battles because as a leader one has to be firm in their decisions and secretive. Military information is to be safeguarded so that the enemies do not understand their tactics to attack. His reluctance to delegate and assign tasks made him overwork during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, but this was a brilliant action that made him succeed.
General Lee divided his army temporarily, and he moved to Maryland leaving General Jackson in Virginia. This was a significant success to Stonewall as he led the great victory that captured many Confederates units and made him secure Lee’s communications. Jackson was an independent commander, and this made him a great leader. When he was working under Lee, he was dutiful and loyal but not as unambitious and submissive as other leaders would be. He was brave and stood his ground. He protested against external interference in the military. Thomas Jackson had elements of maneuver, speed, initiative, and audacity that distinguish him from all generals in the history of American Civil War. His leadership was marked by his purpose and determination that exceeded all other commanders. His drive to maintain secrecy was an essential aspect that made him overpower the defense of his counterparts in Virginia. His reputation and bravery are still preserved in the history of the Civil War, and he remains to be the most successful and famous generals in the military history.
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is a key figure in the history of America as he is considered the most successful generals in the army during the Civil War. He led many campaign and battles in Virginia that were successful. His success is linked to him being intelligent, brave, and has excellent leadership skills. The combination of these three elements made him excel and win many battles. His leadership qualities of being determined, inflexible, intelligent, brave, and secretive made him achieve despite the challenges he got from his subordinates who felt he was too inflexible and thus failed to take his orders. However, he still managed to work under weighing situations and brought immense victory in Virginia. General Jackson died as a military martyr, still brave and encouraging his men to fight, an important aspect that makes him be still remembered today.