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“There Stands Jackson”

Excerpt from Lost Victories: The Military Genius of Stonewall Jackson, by Bevin Alexander, page 25

While Federal troops were driving the Rebels off Matthews’s Hill [during the Battle of First Manassas, July 21, 1861], Jackson had moved onto Henry House and ordered his artillery battery and that of Capt. John D. Imboden, already on Henry House, to take position in the center of the hill crest. Soon two other batteries arrived and began firing. The horses and men of these exposed batteries suffered greatly from Union rifle and cannon fire thereafter.

Jackson directed his infantry to lie down to the rear of the artillery in a shallow depression on the reverse slope. There, protected from Union fire, they could still sweep the crest of the hill if Union troops reached it and silhouetted themselves against the sky.

As the disorganized Rebels of Evans’s, Bee’s, and Bartow’s units straggled up Henry House Hill, only Hampton’s and Jackson’s units still were cohesive. When General Bee rode up, Jackson suggested that he regroup his men behind the First Brigade. Bee quickly rode into the mass of retreating Southerners and urged them to rally behind the Virginians. “There stands Jackson like a stone wall!” Bee cried. Bee’s men eagerly rallied and other refugees assembled around Jackson’s brigade—forever after known as the Stonewall Brigade—and, somewhat haphazardly, began to recover their organization and coherence.

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