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Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend
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Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  1,842 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The passage of 130 years has only deepened the fascination and reverence for Confederate general Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson. He ranks today as among the half-dozen greatest soldiers that America has produced. Military academies in both hemispheres still teach his tactics. Revered by his men, respected by his foes, Jackson became seemingly invincible. When he learn ...more
Hardcover, 976 pages
Published February 18th 1997 by MacMillan Reference Library
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May 04, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hesitant to read a book about Stonewall Jackson for the simple reason that I hate the guy. At this point, I’m sure you’re saying, But Matt, what about all those Hitler books you read? You don’t like him, do you? And you make a good point. I do read a lot of Hitler books. Arguably too many. And I do not like Hitler. The difference, though, is that a Hitler book is generally not supportive of the man. Meanwhile, a Stonewall Jackson book runs a strong chance of being a fawning hagiography.

John Kelley
Jan 16, 2010 John Kelley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading James I Robertson's biography of Stonewall Jackson, I am convinced that his death created such a hole in the command structure of the Army of Northern Virginia, there was no longer a cohesive army that could defeat the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, or subsequent battles in the Spring of 1864.
The incredible energy and leadership of subordinate generals under his command was the key to much of the armies success in spite of his failure to make a key assault at White Oak Creek i
Randy Watkins
Nov 25, 2012 Randy Watkins rated it really liked it
On May 2, 1863, the legendary Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was accidentally shot by his own men in the dark at the Battle of Chancellorsville and died on May 10, 1863 in the presence of his loving wife and close staff. Exactly 150 years later, I finished this brilliant biography of Stonewall Jackson by my favorite Virginia Tech professor, Dr. James I. "Bud" Robertson. Dr. Robertson began work on the biography soon after I took his courses while at Tech. Dr. Robertson is known as the "preeminent ...more
Sarah Bierle
Excellent biography! Definitely #1 on my list for recommended books about General Jackson. I learned so much in this book and can't wait to get my own copy for my Virginia Civil War history shelf.

The writing style is superb. Action and information packed, I was never bored while reading this book. I loved all the quotes from primary sources and how they blended into the text easily and complimentary. Robertson allows the history to tell the story, but his writing makes it come alive.

The ending
Aug 24, 2014 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was my first introduction - and what an introduction it was to Stonewall Jackson. I found the book a little slow to get into at first but at the end I was balling like a baby.
Jackson basically grew up as an Orphan and the one sister who he was close to became estranged at the end of his life. He was full of love and quite tender with Children and both of his wives. I found him to be quite quirky which is probably why I feel in love with him. He complained that one arm was heavier than
Ray Ortensie
Dec 06, 2010 Ray Ortensie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The reason I became a historian! Robertson is an excellent writer and some day I hope to achieve his level.

So good a book I took with me on our honeymoon!
Karen Bryant
Sep 17, 2016 Karen Bryant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collection
You have to really, really be obsessive about the minutae of the civil war, to love this book. An in depth look at what drove this great man into fearless battle, including an often overlooked section on his early life. Fearless, relentless, an iron spine, with a deep love of his family, Jackson put his beliefs first and foremost into preservation of the south's way of life and paid the ultimate price for it! He is, in my opinion, an American hero in the truest sense, which comes through in this ...more
Oct 29, 2015 Rob rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, bio, civil-war
An exhaustively detailed biography of Stonewall Jackson, this book is impressive in its scholarship, depth, and the time taken to correct and sort out competing claims of previous biographers. That being said, this biography didn't work for me on a few accounts.

The most distracting part for me was the reverential tone that the author employed towards his subject. I understand that for any biographer to spend this much time with a subject, one has to find that subject fascinating and worthy of te
Rachel Brummet
Jan 03, 2014 Rachel Brummet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
I was pleasantly surprised when I began reading this to discover that, thanks to the style in which the author writes, it was remarkably easy to understand what was being said & what was occurring! I thoroughly enjoyed this book & felt acquainted with Stonewall by the end. I admire him as a person (though some may disagree...) & believe that he one of the greatest men this country has seen. I would definitely recommend this piece to anyone who is interested in this phenomenal man or ...more
Diane Heath
I knew next to nothing about Stonewall Jackson other than his name and that he was in the Civil War.
I found out that he had many misfortunes, orphaned as a child, widowed once and lost two children.
Than at the time of one of his greater victories he is shot down by his own men. Nevertheless, the most memorable aspect about Jackson would be his faith in God and his dedication to doing his duty.
I would probably have given it 4 stars except that during some chapters, specifically those dealing with
David Elkin
Apr 24, 2012 David Elkin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given it a 4.5 if I could. A really well researched book covering his life from a boy till he crossed the river. The reason I didn't give it a 5 was due to somewhat tedious start of the book covering in almost too much detail of his young life.

The Civil War battles were very well chronicled and written. His death was handled brilliantly and touchingly. I would have liked the author's take on what if stuff, but that really is not the realm of a biographer. I appreciated the fact tha
Oct 04, 2012 Frank rated it liked it
It was fine. It was really long. Did we frankly need to spend as much time as we did talking about pretty much every single thing that Stonewall Jackson ever did? And given the extent of the details provide about relatively mundane things, some pretty important stuff was left out. Like Robertson talks about how at the Seven Days, there were operational problems because Jackson and Lee hadn't come to think "as one mind" or something to that effect. Robertson asserts that they eventually did by la ...more
Apr 23, 2008 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the best biographies I have ever read. Not knowing much about T.J.Jackson(Stonewall) except the bare facts, Robertson brought to life this very complex man. Shy, reserved, self-educated, West Point Graduate who struggled early in his education, he rose to supreme prominence. Not well liked among his peers, his troops loved him and as he slowly proved himself, he gained the respect eventually of his fellow commanders, especially Robert E. Lee. His performance in the Shenandoah Val ...more
Hugh Henry
Oct 25, 2007 Hugh Henry rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dedicated historians only
For sheer scholarship, Dr. Robertson's biography of Jackson will likely outlive his grandchildren. Not only does Robertson elaborate every period of the General's life, but he also debunks countless Jackson myths and provides ready commentary on other Jackson biographies. Robertson critiques Jackson's campaign in the Valley and defends Jackson's actions at Seven Days, thereby taking on the conventional wisdom in a helpful way. This enormous biography not only describes the campaigns of Jackson's ...more
Apr 06, 2013 Jared rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal biography of a phenomenal man. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is high on my list of people I'd love to meet if I could go back in time. I don't think the North would have won the Civil War if Jackson hadn't died, or at least have won it so quickly.

The last two chapters of the book are moving, almost beyond words. Gen. Jackson was almost without peer in his goodness and military brilliance.

One minor quibbles with the biography - it's over-long, about 100 pages longer than it
Greg Wilson
Feb 03, 2011 Greg Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This very long book is worth the time it takes to read. Thomas J "Stonewall" Jackson was a complex if not contradictory character. He gave every evidence of being a sincere Christian, yet condoned slavery and showed no mercy to the enemy. Though outwardly cold, he had great affection for his family. Attended every church service he could, yet usually slept through the sermon. Trusted in God, yet worried constantly about his health. He was a hero to some and a villain to others, but definitely fa ...more
Jul 17, 2009 Jrood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the subtitle suggest, Robertson takes all the reports and rumors about Jacksone life and puts forth solid arguments based on first source materials why various stories about Stonewall Jackson should be believed or discredited. I enjoyed reading the various battlefeild accounts, particually since I went to college in the heart of the Shenadoah Valley. But more then that, I enjoyed the stories of him as an orphaned youth, struggling student, cross-cultural traveler, young widower and Christian ...more
Oct 01, 2009 Raleighhunter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good work. It is written by a PhD so big words that aren't often used. I had to look up 3 and I am well read and have a MBA. So be prepared for slow reading, but very insightful. Not the typical hype around an American hero, but you don't come away thinking bad about him either. Shows Jackson was a normal human being who struggled to find his place in the world but able to keep his head in battle.
May 31, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, scanned
I never really knew much about Stonewall Jackson - this was a very good history of his life. Fascinating man in many ways. Brilliant tactician (a really good thing he died when he did), very odd personality, definite zealot for his cause. I have alot more respect for the man after reading this book.
Feb 17, 2011 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wbts
I think this is the best biography of Jackson ever published. It's a big book, but it flows fast and examines all aspects of Jackson's life. Robertson was one of the preeminent Jackson scholars until his retirement from Virginia Tech. His style of writing makes this a pleasure to read as the narrative flows well throughout the entire book.
Fernando E.
Mar 26, 2016 Fernando E. rated it it was ok
As is anything by Professor Robertson, this work was accurate, informative and meticulously researched. So much information, in fact, that it overwhelmed my reptilian brain. While excellent at times, this Bio is too dry and dusty too often in too many places to make it a fun or relaxing book to read. For hard-core Civil War and History buffs.
Lea Lea
Dec 01, 2016 Lea Lea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This man had a sincere belief in God's ever-kind Providence, despite terrible hardship and the devastation of war. It is impossible to study this man without studying his faith. And it was his reactions and interpretations of life's events that so vividly illustrated Godly response to hardship. A surprisingly perfect read for someone dealing with illness.
Bob Lakeman
Jan 26, 2014 Bob Lakeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Where is Lee's right hand man.....either asleep or missing in action.

Jackson was a resolute man, yet full of contradictions. Religious to a fault, who saw God's hand in every battle, yet he took up arms time after time on the Lord's day, despite his conviction to keep the Sabbath holy.
Aug 16, 2008 Jared rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography, 2008
The author clearly is pro-Jackson. I guess you should write about people you like but by the end it really started to take away from the story. I think what I most learned is that the Unions' early ineptitude was far more a reason for the length of the war than any Southern gallantry.
Gwen Burrow
Jun 11, 2009 Gwen Burrow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Magnificent. Second only to Dabney's work.
Ramona McConkie
Oct 30, 2012 Ramona McConkie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best biography of Stonewall. Great book and great man.
Sep 12, 2012 Joseph rated it it was amazing
Shelves: civil-war
Excellent, masterpiece! James I. Robertson presents the real Stonewall Jackson and leaves all the other books on Jackson to collect dust. Well done Mr. Robertson.
Jul 06, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty comprehensive. It is a good book.
David Barney
Nov 22, 2013 David Barney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex man.
Jul 11, 2012 Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: civil-war, history
This is an outstanding read. I can finally understand Thomas Jackson both as a Soldier and as a Human Being. It is an extremely long read but is brilliantly researched and written Biography.
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James I. Robertson Jr. is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at Virginia Tech. He published the definitive adult biography of Stonewall Jackson, Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend, and also wrote Standing Like a Stone Wall for young adults. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.
More about James I. Robertson Jr....

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“You must not suppose that I would like you to profess religion without possessing it. A hypocrite is in my opinion one of the most detestable of beings. my opinion is, that every one should honestly and carefully investigate the Bible; and if he can believe it to be the word of God, to follow its teachings." - Brevet Major Thomas J. Jackson (1 March 1851)” 5 likes
“The Federals "all cheer as one man...The Rebels cheer like a lot of school boys, every man for himself.” 1 likes
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