Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lexington, Va. Stonewall Jackson Cemetery. Part 3 of 3.

The Hawthornes next visited Stonewall Jackson's cemetery
in Lexington, Virginia.

Jackson died as a result of "friendly fire."
He was shot at Chancellorsville
on May 2, 1863, by an unknown member or members
of the 18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.
Major John D. Barry gave the order to fire
and several men fired at the same time,
 striking Jackson with three smoothbore musket balls.
Barry died two years after the war at age 27.
His family believed his death was a result
of the guilt and depression he suffered
as a consequence of his order to fire.

Jackson's famous nickname, "Stonewall,"
was given to him by General Bernard Bee
on the battlefield at First Manassas.
It refers to Jackson's steadfastness in the face of the enemy.
As Jackson rallied to close the lines against the Union forces,
his demeanor inspired General Bee to shout to his troops,
"Look, men, there is Jackson standing
like a stone wall!
Let us determine to die here and we will conquer!"

Jackson died on May 10, 1863,
at a field hospital near Guiney Station, Va.,
about 30 miles from the battlefield of Chancellorsville.
Reportedly, Jackson's final words, were,
 "Let us cross over the river,
and rest under the shade of the trees."
Jackson's body was returned to Lexington for burial.
He had spent almost 10 years in Lexington as a
Professor at Virginia Military Institute,
from August 1851 until the outbreak 
of the Civil War in April 1861.
He taught in the Department of Natural Philosphy,
roughly equivalent to Physics, 
including astronomy, optics, acoustics,
mechanics, and other sciences,
and also instructed the cadets in artillery.
Not very popular with the students,
he was ridiculed and disliked by them
and was not considered to be a particularly good teacher.

Jackson's amputated arm was buried
by Reverend Tucker Lacy
in Lacy's family plot at "Ellwood."
The Lacy estate was located about one mile from
the field hospital where Jackson died,
about 15 miles west of Fredericksburg.
The land is now owned by the National Park Service
and there is a marker noting the location of the arm.

Wait a minute.
What's up with all the lemons?

A little research, i.e. Googling,
turned up that Jackson followed a strict diet
which emphasized fruits and vegetables.
Although he enjoyed all fruits, particularly peaches,
he had no special fondness for lemons, 
even though he'd been observed eating lemons 
on several occasions during the war.
This was due to the fact 
that he ate whatever fruit was available.
When confederate troops captured a Union camp,
lemons were one of the items they confiscated,
 since lemons and other fruits were more readily
available to the Union soldiers than the Confederates.
In spite of the historical inaccuracy that Jackson loved lemons,
the story remains popular and tourists who visit
Jackson's gravesite often leave lemons as a tribute.

This is a beautiful old cemetary.

Notice the markers for all the Confederate soldiers.
The design consists of a Maltese cross
with a Confederate flag surrounded by a laurel wreath,
with the inscription, "The Southern Cross of Honor."
On the back is the motto of the Confederate States of America,
"Deo Vindice," 
(With) God (as our) Vindicator.
The Southern Cross of Honor
can only be bestowed through the
United Daughters of the Confederacy.
It cannot be bought.
It is given in recognition of loyal and honorable 
service to the South.

Next stop -
the butterfly garden at Natural Bridge.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

I hate to say it, but I don't think that we would be the nation we are today without the Civil War. Somehow, that Great Conflict settled some problems that we didn't even know that we had. I think that we ended up a better nation and a better people for that conflict, despite the horrible loss of life. We owe all of those involved in that war a great debt.