After a short absence Hardtack and Hard Times is up and
running in its new HQ (aka the new website) and the telegraph lines are humming
with news. I was thinking that the Times News probably now has more wires
running through the building than the Confederacy had telegraph line stretched
across the country.
Speaking of the telegraph lines (aka e-mail) this in from
the Tri-Cities Civil War Round Table. They will be presenting the program “Battle
of Chancellorsville and the Last Days and Death of Stonewall Jackson” this
Monday, May 13, 7 pm in room 239 at the Renaissance Center in Kingsport.
Speaking will be Frank A. O’Reilly, Fredericksburg and
Spotsylvania National Military Park’s permanent historian at the “Stonewall”
Jackson Shrine. O’Reilly graduated in 1987 with a B.A. in American History from
Washington & Lee University. Mr. O’Reilly worked for the
"Stonewall" Jackson House in Lexington, and even guest lectured at
Washington & Lee on Civil War topics while still an undergraduate. He worked
for the National Park Service as a historian at the Fredericksburg &
Spotsylvania National Military Park, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and
again at Fredericksburg in 1990 to fill the permanent historian's position at
the "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine.
O’Reilly’s book “The Fredericksburg Campaign: Winter War on
the Rappahannock”, released in 2002 was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His
latest book, “The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson” has been released recently.
One of the most famous of the Confederate generals, second
to Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson’s Valley Campaign of 1862
is still studied in military academies around the world. As a corps commander
in the Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Lee, Jackson lead the flanking
attack that gave Lee one of his most impressive victories.
On the morning of May 2, Lt. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson
directed his corps on a march against the Federal left flank at
Chancellorsville, which was reported to be “hanging in the air.” At 5:20 pm,
Jackson’s line surged forward in an overwhelming attack that crushed the Union
XI Corps. Federal troops rallied, resisted the advance, and counterattacked.
Disorganization on both sides and darkness ended the fighting. While making a
night reconnaissance, Jackson was wounded by his own men who mistook him and
his staff as Yankee cavalry in the dark. The general was carried from the field
and survived with the loss of an arm to amputation, but died of complications
from pneumonia eight days later. His death was a severe setback for the
Confederacy, affecting not only its military prospects, but also the morale of
its army and of the general public.