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Did any soldier ever admit to shooting at Stonewall Jackson? - Thomas Stonewall Jackson - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 04:05 pm
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booklover
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Something I've always wondered about, and just from a cursory glance through some sources it seems unlikely, but I've wondered if any soldier from the North Carolina regiment that shot at Stonewall Jackson ever admitted to doing so? If he had of, I imagine the reaction would have been harsh against him. I understand that the commander of the unit died shortly after the war and his family members said it was the guilt he felt for giving the order to fire.

Anyone have any idea?

Best
Rob



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 05:55 pm
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dw@cwba
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Rob,
You might want to get a copy of the "Was Stonewall Jackson Fragged?" article from an early issue of North & South Magazine. The evidence presented didn't convince me (much like the case for sabotage of the Sultana in another issue), but I think a reading of it would go some way toward answering your question.

Drew



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 05:59 pm
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connyankee
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It's a great question, Rob.  I kinda doubt if we'll ever find the answer to it.  If you have not had the opportunity to do so, I would direct your attention to Robert K. Krick's collection of essays, "The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy," Louisiana State University Press, 2002.  Specifically, Chapter One - titled the same.  It's the best account (in my mind anyways) of the General's wounding and better yet, addresses your very question and some others.  Enjoy it - I sure did!

Regards,

connyankee

 



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 06:53 pm
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20th_Mass
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I believe I read somewhere that some of the soldiers that were involved in the shooting commited suicide.



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 09:18 pm
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Johan Steele
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He was felled by a volley, I don't think it would have been possible to blame one man. Also Jackson wasn't as popular w/ his men as post war writers might have us believe. He wasn't sainted until after the war.

Was he "fragged?" I've read the article mentioned earlier. It was far from convincing, I doubt it greatly.

Consider a couple things: it was dusk and earlier in the day US Cav had hit a column and scared the bejesus out of a lot of soldiers. Several Regimantal and Brigade commanders in the area had been warned that US Cav was lurking in the area hoping to pounce. It was dusk, Jackson and his small group were not where they were supposed/expected to be. They were approaching the CS lines from the wrong direction. I have read, don't ask me where, that his small party thought the troops they were approaching were US. The CS troops they were approaching were jumpy and fired the fatal volley. Bad luck for Jackson.

Even if the man who pulled the trigger were known, it wouldn't be fair to criminalize the man.



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 09:19 pm
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Widow
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It was so dark in the woods, and several shots were fired.  I doubt that anybody could have known whose shots hit Jackson.  He was hit twice, wasn't he?  Others in his party were hit too.  Patty



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 09:44 pm
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aphill
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The lead essay in Smoothbore Volley that Doomed the Confederacy is probably the best treatment of Jackson's fatal wounding.  It is written by Robert K. Krick, an authority on the Army of Northern Virginia and Jackson in particular, and he pretty exhaustively discusses what occurred, including the various theories around who the shooter was.  (He completely dismisses the fragged theory as ridiculous.)

Krick concludes as most authors do that Lane's brigade of A.P. Hill's division fired nearly all the shots at the parties, and the regiment most involved was probably the 18th North Carolina.  Beyond that, I don't think anyone knows for sure.  It would be difficult for anyone to claim responsibility as it was dark and multiple individuals were hit.

A.P. Hill was riding along with Jackson -- they were in two parties seperated by a short distance -- and Hill's party was actually closest to the firing.  Hill saved himself by immediately jumping off his horse and lying face down in the road, but many of his staff were wounded or killed.  In fact, only two of Hill's staff survived the fire unhurt and those two members had their horses killed from underneath them.

(When Hill yelled at the men to stop firing, someone is said to have yelled back, "The whole damn Yankee army can't run the Light Division and one little general needn't try it either!")



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 09:57 pm
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susansweet
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Johan ,  Jackson was also wearing a black raincoat at the time he was shot so his uniform was not seen.  Jackson was struck by three .57 caliber bullets. Jackson sustained severe wounds to the left arm and minor wounds to the right hand. He was taken to a field hospital near the battlefield, where his left arm was amputated.
Susan



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 10:55 pm
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renee
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I remember hearing the same thing as 20th Mass- when we were at Manassas a couple years ago,I believe it was our tour guide who told us that several people were convinced that they had been 'the one', and unable to bear the guilt, did commit suicide.



 Posted: Thu Apr 17th, 2008 11:14 pm
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Texas Defender
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20th_Mass and renee-

  I would like to see some documentation of this story about soldiers committing suicide over the Jackson shooting. I do not think it credible.



 Posted: Fri Apr 18th, 2008 12:29 am
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ole
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If I had been one of those firing on Jackson's party, I would most certainly not mention it. I was on furlough that week. Really!

ole



 Posted: Fri Apr 18th, 2008 12:42 am
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Texas Defender
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ole-

  The soldiers were only complying with the order to fire given by Major Barry of the 18th North Carolina.

  Barry might have considered himself responsible for Jackson's death, but he did not commit suicide.

And Then Hill Came Up - Biography of John D. Barry

 

 



 Posted: Fri Apr 18th, 2008 01:14 am
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20th_Mass
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Thanks for the link. I thought I had heard someone had commited suicide due to Jackson being killed but I think the story of Major Barry was what I heard.



 Posted: Fri Apr 18th, 2008 05:20 am
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booklover
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Thanks for the info. I will definitely check out Krick's book. Although I'm certainly no expert, I have to think the idea that Jackson was "fragged" seems a bit unbelievable myself. Appreciate all the comments.

Best
Rob



 Posted: Fri Apr 18th, 2008 04:39 pm
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aphill
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Rob, Smoothbore Volley is a really good collection of essays and I think you will enjoy it.  In addition to the lead essay on the wounding of Jackson, there are also really good biographical essays on Maxcy Gregg and Robert Rodes.  There's also an interesting essay in there on McLaws and Longstreet in the Tennessee Campaign.

Krick is highly opinionated (I think it is fair to term him "acerbic").  He has a pretty intense dislike for Longstreet, for example.  But in terms of scholarship, he's excellent, especially on details related to Jackson's wing of the Army.  Plus, he writes very well and has an easy to read style.  For those interested in the Army of Northern Virginia, he's probably the modern day D.S. Freeman.

Another thing I really like about this book in particular is the footnotes are right at the bottom of the page.  Since Krick puts a lot of good stuff in his notes (much like Pfanz does in his books on Gettysburg), it's nice to have them right there.  I also tend to like to know where a statement is coming from, so I am a fan of having notes at the bottom of the page rather than hidden at the end of the book.



 Posted: Fri Apr 18th, 2008 05:24 pm
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David White
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Just for some added clarity, anyone of the regiments of Lane's brigade could have fired the fatal shot the one in the left arm.  The only reason the 18th NC gets singled out is due to the fact the wound to his right hand still contained a smoothbore round.  The 18th was the only brigade regiment still carrying smoothbores.  If I'm not mistaken the fatal wound was probably a rifled round because it passed through his arm shattering the bone.  That evidence would seem to exonerate the 18th to a degree but I also think they had some rifles too.  The Krick book is probably the best to read and the closest we'll ever come to identifying the shooter in this world. 



 Posted: Sat Apr 19th, 2008 03:46 am
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Rebel Yell
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If I have my information correct, Jackson was struck three times as a result of volley fire and others were hit as well. Since  it was dark at the time, I don't see how any one soldier could say that it was his bullet that struck Jackson...



 Posted: Sat Apr 19th, 2008 03:56 am
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ole
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It remains, Rebel Yell, that it wasn't exactly your ball that struck Jackson, but that you might have fired it. That gets a bit sticky.

ole



 Posted: Sat Apr 19th, 2008 04:23 am
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Rebel Yell
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Yes, you have a point, Ole...I just meant that how could any soldier who fired could be sure that it was his shot that hit Jackson...

In a similar question, there are several Confederate sharpshooters who claimed credit for hitting Sedgwick at Spotsylvania...It just seems to me that with many rounds being fired that it would be hard to determine just who's shot hit who...But if a specific soldier felt that it was his shot that hit, who is to say that it wasn't???



 Posted: Sat Apr 19th, 2008 08:19 am
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Kernow-Ox
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Rebel Yell wrote:  there are several Confederate sharpshooters who claimed credit for hitting Sedgwick at Spotsylvania
Heh - reminds me of this from Wiley's 'Life of Billy Yank' (p80):

Lieutenant Henry Clune wrote after Shiloh that he had 'been searching diligently during the past five days for the man who didnt kill Gen'l Johnston,' adding: 'He is the same individual who winged Genl Beauregard.

Last edited on Sat Apr 19th, 2008 08:20 am by Kernow-Ox



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