Stonewall Jackson Death Recalled in 1914

(09/05/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 7/9/1914.

Historical Truth

It seems remarkable that nearly 50 years after the close of the Civil War historians are unable to agree as to the manner in which General "Stonewall" Jackson met his death.  The statement that he was shot by one of his own men has the support of indubitable proofs, but it has been challenged by some controversialist.  A recent discussion of the subject has brought a letter to the Clarksburg Exponent from Theophilus K. Harter, a Confederate veteran living at Lone Tree, in Tyler County, this state, which clears up some errors.

Mr. Harter says spent his boyhood near General Jackson's home and that he knew him intimately.  He was in Jackson's command when the war broke out, and he remembers the circumstances of his death has clearly as if it occurred yesterday.  Mr. Harter's version of the tragedy is that the general, upon learning that the Union soldiers planned to surprise his outposts at Chancellorsville, issued an order forbidding the entrance of any person within his lines without having first "given the countersign over the end of a musket."  Subsequently Jackson was reconnoitering with other officers, and when returning to the Confederate lines was challenged by a sentry whom he attempted to pass.  The sentry fired, and a "minnie" ball struck the general in the wrist, inflicting a painful but apparently not serious wound.

Some accounts say Jackson was instantly killed. Mr. Harter says he did not die until two days later; that the injured arm was dressed at a field hospital; that within a few hours gangrene developed, and the hand was taken off; that the next morning the arm was amputated below the elbow and that night removed at the shoulder, death resulting a few hours later.  The testimony of Mr. Harter is valuable and should settle disputed points concerning the death of one of the greatest generals of the Confederacy. - Wheeling Register.


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