Lost Victories: The Military Genius of Stonewall Jackson

Lost Victories: The Military Genius of Stonewall Jackson Click here to purchase from Barnes & Noble. Click here to purchase from Amazon.com.

This fresh and authoritative account of the Civil War’s first two years challenges the assumption that Robert E. Lee was the Confederacy’s preeminent military strategist. Stonewall Jackson developed a method to shatter Union armies and win the war. Only at Chancellorsville did Lee accept Jackson’s plan. It would have brought about the destruction of the Federal army, but failed when Jackson suffered a mortal wound.


There is nothing inevitable about military victory. Inspired leadership can make the difference. This book describes the great military leadership of Jackson.

Chapter 1: First Manassas: A New Kind of War

Describing the revolutionary effect of the Minié-ball rifle, with a range four times that of the smoothbore musket. Jackson’s march to Manassas.

Chapter 2: “There Stands Jackson Like a Stone Wall”

Describing the battle of First Manassas or First Bull Run, July 21, 1861.

Chapter 3: The Valley: Keeping McClellan Out of Richmond

Describing how Jackson’s strategy in spring 1862 is designed not only to keep the Shenandoah Valley in Confederate hands but to prevent McDowell’s huge corps at Fredericksburg from joining McClellan at Richmond.

Chapter 4: The Sweep to the Potomac

Describing Jackson’s surprise movement to Staunton, turning back Frémont’s advance force at McDowell, Virginia, sweeping behind Banks’s army at Strasburg, defeating Banks at Winchester, and pursing the fleeing Federals to Harpers Ferry.

Chapter 5: Carrying the War to the Susquehanna

Jackson’s proposal to President Jefferson Davis to increase his forces to 40,000 men, and allow him to sweep behind Washington, evict Lincoln’s government from the capital, and bring quick victory for the Confederacy. Also Jackson’s march south to Port Republic, defeating two Union forces, and ending the Valley campaign with total victory.

Chapter 6: The First Two of the Seven Days

Describing Jackson’s movement on the flank of Porter’s Union corps north of the Chickahominy river, and the clashes at Beaver Dam Creek and Gaines Mill.

Chapter 7: Frayser’s Farm and Malvern Hill

The last engagements of the Seven Days, and McClellan’s retreat to Harrison’s Landing on the James river.

Chapter 8: Jackson Moves North

Jackson’s efforts fail to convince President Davis to order an invasion of the North. The actions of Jackson in central Virginia in summer 1862, and his throwing Union General John Pope on the strategic defensive in the Battle of Cedar Mountain.

Chapter 9: The Sweep behind Pope

Describing the dramatic movement of Jackson’s force entirely around the Union army on the Rappahannock and its descent on Manassas, severing Pope’s supply line and threatening Washington.

Chapter 10: Jackson Draws Pope into Battle

Pope thinks Jackson is fleeing, but Jackson has selected with a great care a position at Groveton a few miles west of Manassas to entice Pope to attack, knowing Lee will arrive on Pope’s left flank at Gainesville, since he’s moving through Thoroughfare Gap just to the west.

Chapter 11: Incomplete Victory at Second Manassas

Jackson’s ideas are correct: Pope fails in attacks against Groveton. Jackson expects Lee to sweep around Pope’s flank and cut his army off from retreat over the single bridge at Bull Run. But Lee waits till the afternoon of the second day to attack. By now it is to late to destroy the Union army.

Chapter 12: A Lost Order Changes Everything

Lee invades Maryland in September 1862, refuses Jackson’s recommendation to keep the Rebel army north of Washington and in a position to seize Baltimore or Philadelphia, withdraws west of South Mountain; McClellan finds order showing Rebels are widely dispersed; Jackson invests Harpers Ferry; Lee resolves to stand at Antietam creek.

Chapter 13: The Bloodiest Day

Description of the Battle of Antietam September 17, 1862.

Chapter 14: Burnside Falls into His Own Trap

Jackson tries to get Lee to withdraw to North Anna river where Rebels can sweep around Union flank. Lee refuses. Description of the Battle of Fredericksburg. December 13, 1862.

Chapter 15: Hooker Flanks Lee at Chancellorsville

Description of Joseph Hooker’s plan to descend with a large force on Lee’s western flank, and force him to flee. But Sedgwick fails to make a frontal attack at Fredericksburg, and Lee is free to meet the flank threat. Jackson forces Hooker back into the Wilderness, where his guns are hobbled.

Chapter 16: “Let Us Cross Over the River”

Description of Jackson’s march around Hooker’s army and his attack on its western flank. Jackson is mortally wounded just as he is seeking to close off Hooker’s only retreat route over United States Ford on the Rappahannock. Description of Jackson’s decline and death on May 10,1863.

Epilogue: Could Jackson Have Won?

If he had not been struck down at Chancellorsville, Jackson would have closed off the retreat of the Union army and forced its surrender. He would have convinced Lee to stand on the defensive in Pennsylvania and thus avoid the Battle of Gettysburg. So, yes, if Jackson had lived, the South could have won.


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