One of the
greatest fighting generals in the Confederacy, and known best by his
nickname of "Stonewall," Jackson was born in Clarksburg,
Virginia on January 21, 1824. Raised of Scottish-Irish ancestry, his
parents died in poverty, and Thomas was raised by his uncle. Although
Jackson never had the opportunity to be formally enlightened for higher
education, he did have the privilege of entering West Point in July 1842.
Although his grades were not great the first year, he applied himself and
they improved with each year, whereby he graduated seventeenth in his
class of fifty-nine in 1846. During the Mexican War, Jackson served in an
exemplary manner at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo and Chapultepec. Eighteen
months after joining the army, he was promoted to major, receiving acclaim
from General Winfield Scott. In the late 1840s, Jackson served at Forts in
New York and Florida.
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