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Stonewall Jackson

( Originally Published 1902 )

STONEWALL JACKSON was the idol of the Southern people, and was respected by the people of the North for his qualities as a military commander and as a man. He was a silent man, like Grant, and more mysterious. He was often heard to say, " Mystery ; mystery is the secret of success." His plans were not revealed to his nearest lieutenants until the moment he struck his blow. He would gather information about the country and have charts made of the same, when he intended to operate his campaign in the opposite direction. He said if his coat knew what he intended to do he would take it off and burn it. As a strategist he recognized the weak as well as the strong points of the situation, and also the strong as well as the weak points of the enemy. Amidst the infinite details he had a genius for selecting essentials and for striking when and where he would do the enemy the greatest damage. He was tender in heart and devout in spirit, but the qualities which gave him his rank and influence in the Confederate army were his all-daring courage and indomitable will. At the first battle of Manassas, General Bee rode up and down the line. Meeting General Jackson, he said, " General, they are beating us back." His answer was, " Sir, we will give them the bayonet." Receiving new courage from these words, he rode back to his men and said, There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me." They did follow him into the thickest of the fight, where he fell mortally wounded, but not until he had changed the name of General Thomas Jonathan Jackson to that of Stonewall Jackson, which title he bore till his death, and which meant more in the estimation of the people both North and South than the lieutenant-generalship with which he was honored. His brigade was also known as the " Stonewall."

In the great battle of life, where the spiritual foes are so numerous and their weapons so effective, moral courage is absolutely necessary to turn the assaults that threaten destruction into victories. It is the business of every church and every soldier of the Cross, to stand like a stone wall against moral evil in the defense of virtue and of piety.

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