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Interpretation of Stonewall Jackson - Thomas Stonewall Jackson - The Participants of the War - Mikitary & Civilian - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 01:25 am
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BloodyBob64
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As a college history major and Civil War buff, I am beginning to realize that fans of the Civil War need to do as much work in un-learning aspects of the great conflict as they did in learning them in the first place. I am only now becoming aware of how my interpretation of the Civil War is influenced by romanticized and distorted notions that have been kept alive throught popular culture, which in turn manages to influence scholarship on the subject. Although there is a plethora of Civil War scholarship out there, I'm willing to bet that 60 to 70% of it fails to paint an accurate portrayal of the war.

Not only do Civil War fans or historians have to work to un-learn aspects of the Civil War, they then have to spend the necassary time and devotion in order to develop a personal interpretation that does justice to a particular event or figure of that time period. The character that first got me interested in the Civil War was Stonewall Jackson. I think it only makes sense to begin my journey in de-bunking my previous notions of the war and then creating new interpretations with the man who got me into the subject. Therefore, I am interested in hearing different and personal interpretations of Stonewall Jackson. I am looking forward to everyone's responses.



 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 02:00 am
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ole
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Thank you bloody bob for pointing out that I've just wasted the last 40 years by leafing through books.

Lemme see what we have here ..... 19 posts and a major in history. Wheeee.

Reality check. There are people on this board that can instruct your professors.

Never mind.



 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 02:47 am
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BloodyBob64
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Well what is your interpretation of Stonewall Jackson?

 



 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 10:15 am
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susansweet3
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Gee Ole you always seem to know just what to say.

 



 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 02:08 pm
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BloodyBob64
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Why the hostility in everyone? Please someone explain what I wrote that is so offensive?



 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 03:34 pm
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19bama46
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BloodyBob64 wrote: Why the hostility in everyone? Please someone explain what I wrote that is so offensive?

Well, Primarily it is because we are not sure you understand everything you think you know.



 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 05:26 pm
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buzzard
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Sorry BloodyBob

I left this next paragraph on a post to another thread, however, your post is the other I refer to here.

"This is the second thread in as many days that present to this board how the majority of historians have gotten it all wrong for a hundred plus years. I bow down to you and others that have been able to interpret the final presentation of what history should be for the rest of us."

You seem like a nice guy and well intentioned, but I do believe that the above statement is the rub here. If you think that history becomes more accurate with age, than I challenge you to pick up any modern day classroom history book and discuss the accuracy of what is between the pages. History is as much a mindset of the times both in occurrence and generational interpretation of the events.

You said it, but may have missed your own point, "not only do Civil War fans or historians have to work to un-learn aspects of the Civil War, they have to spend the necessary time and devotion in order to develop a personal interpretation that does justice to a particular event or figure of that time period." When all is said and done it is your personal interpretation of the event or figure of that time period, not necessarily the correct version nor does it mean that 60 to70 percent of historians got it wrong. It is only your belief based upon your research and a 2009 interpretation of those events.

I hesitate to relate this to religion, but it reminds me of the person that reads the bible and suddenly has a complete understanding of the contents and is willing to share what is certainly the only true thought on any subject relating to religious dogma.

As for Stonewall, I think you have an excellent subject and ask what particular point  you are looking to discuss, character, tactics, generalship, reputation?

I personally like his feeling of keeping his movements and plans close to the bone so to speak. His great fortune in my humble opinion, was that he operated in his own backyard so to speak and took advantage of this knowledge and the knowledge the Virginia units originating from the Shennandoah Valley had to offer to his utmost advantage.

Buzzard

Last edited on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 05:26 pm by buzzard



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 Posted: Sat Apr 4th, 2009 08:13 pm
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javal1
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Nice reply Buzzard. Some of the others however do seem overly harsh. It's fine to disagree, but try to do it without being rude.



 Posted: Sun Apr 5th, 2009 03:25 am
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The Iron Duke
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Stonewall had a pretty good grasp of strategy and was an adept manueverer of troops. However, he was a rather mediocre tactician.

Stonewall was respected by his men but not loved. He did not possess an endearing personality. His saving grace was that he won victories. I once read somewhere that he had more men arrested than any other Confederate general.

I'm not sure if he had the temperament or social skills to successfully administer a large army like Lee and Grant did. Don't forget that he tried to resign when the government started interfering with his valley command. He could bicker just as easily as Joe Johnston could.

Last edited on Sun Apr 5th, 2009 03:29 am by The Iron Duke



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 Posted: Mon Apr 6th, 2009 05:05 pm
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barrydancer
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BloodyBob64 wrote:
"I am only now becoming aware of how my interpretation of the Civil War is influenced by romanticized and distorted notions that have been kept alive throught popular culture, which in turn manages to influence scholarship on the subject."

I think there's much truth to this statement, and it can be the basis of a very worthwhile study and re-examination of the Civil War era. Many aspects, I agree, are covered in an aura of romanticism that is often hard to crack. Witness Robert E. Lee. He's still a difficult figure to criticize.

I think some of the hostility from some may come more from your tone, than your aim. Lots of folks here have been studying the era for a long time, and you seem to imply that they've wasted their time. Or at least 60-70 percent of it, and should be ready for a new interpretation to supersede the old. I don't think that was necessarily your intention, but it could be construed as such.

Now, as for Old Stonewall. He was a hell of a commander, and garnered quite a reputation during the war. A reputation that was only enhanced by his death, as he could then become a martyr. Like buzzard, I agree that his successes in the Valley were helped by his familiarity with the region. (Not that that's a bad thing, in my estimation). I do, however, think those successes were also helped by Jackson being opposed by some of the most inept Federal commanders of the war.

Jackson's performance during the Seven Days was lackluster at best, and sometimes gets overlooked. I think he often used his staff as glorified couriers, rather than as an integral part of his command the way Longstreet did.

I am constantly fascinated by the confluence of history and memory, and how one is often substituted for the other.

And now, I must go get ready for work. :)



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 01:24 am
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ginnie61
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I AGREE W/ THE STATEMENT THAT ALOT OF WHAT YOU LEARN,SAY IN SCHOOL,IS USUALLY COMPLETELY WRONG FROM ACTUAL FACT.WHICH I FIND DISGRACEFUL!I HAVE FOUND THAT IN GENERAL YOU HAVE TO READ ALOT TO FIND ANY TRUTH AND UNDERSTANDING.TO TNEN PUT ALL THE INFO TOGETHER YOURSELF.THE OLD SAYING"MIGHT MAKES RIGHT"ORTHE VICTOR WRITES THE FINAL HISTORY"FITS PERFECTLY TO THIS PERTICULAR WAR IN GENERAL.AS TO STONEWALL.WELL,THERES ALOT TO BE SAID OF THE MAN.LEE NEEDED MORE STONEWLLS UNDER HIS COMMAND.HE WAS A PERFECT SOLDIER.BY HIMSELF AND UNDER DIRECT COMMAND OF LEE.NO OTHER CAN COMPARE IN THAT RESPECT.IF ONE LOOKS HARD ENOUGH THEY WILL FIND THAT HE WAS NOT A HYPROCONDRIACT.WAS SECRET WITH HIS PLANS DUE TO FRUSTATION W/SUBORDINATES NOT FOLLOWING ORDERS AND THEREFOR NOT GETTING THE JOB DONE.HE EARNED THE CREDIT HE RECIEVED,ALONG W/HIS MEN.I BELIEVE THAT BETWEEN JACKSON AND LEE GETTYSBURG WOULD HAVE BEEN A VICTORY AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IF LEES GENERALS WOULD HAVE FOLLOWED ORDERS AS HE DID.COMPLETELY,W/O QUESTION,TO THIER UTMOST CAPABILITY.HE WAS UNIQUE TO SAY THE LEAST.COMMITED.WHAT ELSE YOU WANT TO KNOW?



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 01:30 am
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susansweet3
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Please ,don't use caps when you reply they are very hard to read . Also please proof your posting . 

Stonewall was not perfect.  He had his problems too. 

As to school much of what you learn is correct, just not what you might want to hear.  Not all can be taught in the time given teachers to teach subjects.  They are an introduction.  You always need to explore on your own to get deeper into subjects you are interested in.

Susan



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 01:44 am
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ginnie61
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INEPT IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!NOT TO MENTION THAT JACKSON,LIKE LEE,USED HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE OPPOSING GENERALS TO THIER ADVANTAGE.HE HAD THE UNDERSTANDING OF HIS LIMITED RESORCES AND DID EVERYTHING TO CAPITALIZE ON ANY ADVANTAGE HE FOUND.IT WAS GENERALS LIKE HIM THAT INSPIRED MEN TO KEEP FIGHTING,EVEN AFTER HIS DEATH,FOR 4 YEARS AGAINST OVERWHELMING ODDS,AND ALMOST PULL IT OFF!THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEE AND JACKSON IS UNMATCHED.HE WAS QUICK,TENACIOUS,BOLD,SMART IN BATTLE.FIRM IN HIS RELIGION,EVEN TAUGHT SUNDAY SCHOOL TO BLACKS.GREAT WITH KIDS TOO.HE WAS A FIGHTER!HE DID IN FACT COME TO SYMBOLIZE WHAT THE SOUTH STOOD FOR,WAS ABOUT,EVEN BEFOR HIS DEATH.BUT MORESO AFTER.HE JOINED THE SOUTHERN CAUSE ONLY AFTER HE  REALIZE THE NORTH  MEANT TO HOLD THE SOUTH BY FORCE,WHICH HE FELT WRONG AND UNJUST.HE WAS ONE OF A KIND FOR SURE.IF HE HAD NOT PUT THAT COLD TOWEL AROUND HIS WAIST HE WOULD HAVE CONTRACTED PNEMONIA,AND WHO KNOWS WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN...



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 01:50 am
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Doc C
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Gin

I wouldn't classify Jackson as perfect during the Seven Days Campaign. In fact he was anything but. As to his personal skills, i.e. ability to operate with his subordinates, well this was also lacking. Just look at his relationship with Hill, Ewell and others. There are numerous posts as to that if Jackson had been at Gettysburg a different outcome would have been achieved, well I would like to hear the reasons why. Attack Cemetery Hill and Culps Hill the pm of day 1. Have you ever seen those heights, I would venture to say that there are no steeper hills which were assaulted by any civil war troops during the cw. Although Jackson's greatest achievement was his Shenondoah Campaign and accomplished great things, he did face 3 of the possibly least able generals in the union army.

Doc C

Last edited on Thu Apr 9th, 2009 01:51 am by Doc C



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 01:56 am
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ole
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Jackson was an overrated putz.

Ole



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 01:58 am
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javal1
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Do not post in caps, as you were told previously by a moderator. It's not only rude, but it's hard to read.



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 02:07 am
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ginnie61
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no man is perfect.period.and if you do your reserch you will learn that most of what you learn in school is in fact incorrect.the south didnot go to war for slavery,most had no slaves.the north didnt want them,they just saw it as a means to aggravate.they dont teach you that lincoln,and his office in general,used illigal means to detain people,orto win the war.but my view stonewall the soldier was perfect.and by that i mean he did as he was told-efficiantly,quickly,and with boldness.he was smart and used his advantages to the utmost and they paid off.he was a brilliant commander.and worked perfect with lee.he was perfect for the south.not perfect as a man.he was unbending,even w/his soldiers at times.he had his way and didnt seek other counsel.he did what he wanted and it cost him his life in the end.not only did he get shot at by his own side,but he caused his pnemonia.infaliable he wasnt,but as a commander he was as close as you can get.in general,you have to be diligent to find any truth to anything.and of course w/anything you will always have your own bias.everyone has thier own interpration on any given subject.take a car accident w/witness staements for an example.it has alot to do with how a person sees things



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 02:17 am
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ginnie61
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i did not mean to say that he was perfect in every sense.by no means even close.the seven days is a good exampe.he had his own quirks as it were.i meant that when he was at his physical best-unlike during the seven days-hes fighting and commanding ability were unmatched.he,like others past and present,hadproblems w/subordinates,ect.



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 02:36 am
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susansweet3
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As others have said Jackson did well in the Shenadoah against some not so good Generals.  What would he have down faced with Sheridan we will never know.

Seven Pines is another story also .  He was far from perfect. 

Lincoln did what he had to do .  I attended a conference with many fine historians talk about Lincoln . James McPherson in his talk state, "Salvery brought on disruption of the Union . Disruption of the Union bourght on the Civil War "

So there ya go. 

Oh and spacing ,between sentences and no capitals except at the beginning of sentences would make it alot easier to read what you are writing. 

Susan

 



 Posted: Thu Apr 9th, 2009 12:19 pm
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Doc C
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Gin

Since I am a southerner I will be as tactfull as can be. WHERE DID YOU ATTEND SCHOOL. Your comment "south didnot go to war for slavery" is blatantly wrong. True the majority of southern soldiers didn't own slaves but the indirectly or directly, slavery was the basis of the cw. Do you really believe that the cw would have occurred if slavery didn't exist? I usually show restraint in my comments but comments like that really irritate me.

Doc C



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