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"Along the road was pandemonium and along the side of the road was chaos." This is how one Union soldier described the shock and awe campaign launched against his fellow troops at Chancellorsville, VA on May 2, 1863.
By the end of the campaign, the Union would suffer an embarrassing defeat and the legendary Confederate General, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, would be injured by friendly fire. From your headquarters in Fairfax County, Virginia, you can retrace the steps of a military legend, relive the days leading up to his death and recall the price he paid so dearly for his beliefs.
A West Point graduate, General Jackson is considered to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in US history. In the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, he showed his mettle, standing like a stone wall against Union troops. And thus, a legend was born.
After the Second Battle of Manassas/Bull Run, Stonewall Jackson doggedly pursued the retreating Union army into Fairfax County, where he engaged them in the Battle of Ox Hill/Chantilly. But it was at Chancellorsville where he and General Lee put their heads together to pull off one of the riskiest battles of the war.
Outmanned 2:1, the generals hatched a plot to surround Union troops. Aided by a series of fateful miscalculations by Union General Joseph Hooker, the die was cast, leading to an unexpected Confederate victory. In dark of night, however, Jackson's troops mistook him for the enemy and fired shots. In the days following his wounding, Jackson would lose his arm and then contract pneumonia, dying at a plantation in Guinea Station where the Stonewall Jackson Shrine now stands.
There is a stained glass window at Washington's National Cathedral depicting Stonewall Jackson's life. Just minutes from Fairfax County, this site offers an unusual stop on your tour of Jackson's legacy.