Today I realized that I can no longer look at my Civil War Desk Calendar as being factual. If they have a fact on there that I don’t know I am going to wonder if it’s really true. Why? Well, let me tell you (as well as I can remember) what the calendar told me today:< “Let us pass over the river and rest beneath the shade of the trees.” – reported to be the last words of General Stonewall Jackson before he was shot between army lines by his own men, which eventually lead to his demise. > For those of you who are screaming at your computer screen… I know!!! I literally took my pen and crossed out everything after his name. There might be a couple of people reading this (HA! Like I have more than one or two people reading this… that’s pretty funny… lol) who have no idea what the correct answer is for this quote. Those WERE Jackson’s last words… on his death bed!
*puts on her Civil War nerd kepi* Jackson was shot on May 2, 1863 while riding between the tangled and crazy lines of the Union and Confederate armies. This was the end of the first day of the Battle of Chancellorsville and Jackson had done a fantastic job of surprising the Union army and catching them with their pants down. *insert music from the Gods and Generals soundtrack when Jackson’s line charges the loafing Yanks* Jackson wanted to continue to move his men forward after dark, but the lines were so close and so tangled that nobody knew where anybody else was located. The Confederates had done such a good job of keeping the Yankees on the run that they lost track of their own line. Everybody was on edge and jumpy that night. They are in this thick tangle of woods, brush, and dense vegetation. They know that the enemy is out there somewhere, but where? As Jackson comes riding through some of his men mistake the horses and men as Union soldiers so they open fire. Jackson ends up taking a minie ball in the left arm and his right hand. He is put on a stretcher and rushed back further behind the lines, except they are still being fired upon. One of the litter bearers is hit and Jackson is dropped. At this point he suffers a broken rib (which is what experts feel eventually leads to pneumonia and his death). Jackson is eventually hauled back to the safety of his camp where the very hot Dr. McGuire, his personal physician, is dispatched to take care of Jackson’s wounds. Jackson’s left arm ends up being amputated, but he is on the mend and is able to enjoy the company of his wife and infant daughter while he heals near Guinea Station. Except, he takes a turn for the worse and develops pneumonia. Back then they couldn’t cure it, but they had seen it enough that they could tell you almost to the minute when the person would pass away. Sunday, May 10, 1863 was Jackson’s last day on this earth. He passed away at a little after 3 pm in the afternoon. He was happy that he was going to his maker on the Sabbath. As he was laying there he suddenly started giving orders to his ‘men’, and the very last words that he spoke were, “Let us cross over the river and rest beneath the shade of the trees.”
It feels like forever that I’ve read or talked about the Civil War. Is that sad or what? I am very happy, though, that I am able to recite that little blurb about Chancellorsville and be able to give dates without a problem. Once I move and can actually put all of my Civil War books on shelves in my library (one of my spare bedrooms) then I want to get back into reading them. In fact, I’m not going to have cable or satellite when I first move so I’m hoping that it will give me no alternative except to do more reading. I will have internet, but I have so many projects that I want to work on that I’m hoping I won’t live on it.
I guess that’s all from me for now. 🙂