Saturday, April 6, 2013

Movie Review: ***^Stonewall Jackson: Biography

This is a 1995 made for t.v. movie.  It presents several historians telling Stonewall Jackson's story.  It presents the fact that he was an orphan, brought up by relatives, and had only limited school as he lived a rural farm life.  Consequently, when he started at West Point, he was towards the bottom of the class.  However his determination brought him into the upper third when he graduated.  His life long attitude was, "You may be whatever you resolve to be."
Jackson distinguished himself in the American Mexican War.  He was in three engagements, and did not really consider the danger he was in at times.  He received three brevet promotions, and returned the highest ranking member of his class. (His class graduated the year before the war.)
When he returned he received a post at Virginia Military Institute.  He proved himself to a poor teacher, but and excellent field teacher or artillery, and a leader at the school and community. 
However, it is for the Civil War that he is most known.  He distinguished himself in the Valley, and this movie does a good job of telling this, five to one odds and facing three armies with his army of light-footed Calvary.  It tells of other engagements he fought with Lee, including his final engagement at Chancellorsville. Friendly fire brought him down, and his arm was amputated.  However he passed away a week later of pneumonia.  His final words, "Let us cross the river and rest in the shade of the tree."
Stonewall Jackson's legend is one of "what if."  If he hadn't passed away would the outcome have been different.  If the war had played out, certainly the North's number and resources would have played out, but had Jackson been at Gettysburg, the result may have been different with some boldness on the part of the Confederates. 

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