Loved by his men, feared by his enemies, understood by perhaps no one, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was one of the finest strategists and most psychologically complex military leaders in history.
This book seeks not to explain the man but to define him by the places he knew. It visits sites from Jackson’s orphan days, those of his military education and early postings, those of his major and minor battles, and those of his wounding, death, and burial.
Jackson fans will certainly want to see Manassas, the Shenandoah Valley, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, the Seven Days’ sites, and Chancellorsville. But they will be just as interested in lesser-known places like the church in New York City where Jackson was baptized, the fort-turned-playground in Florida where he quit the United States Army, the museum that holds the stuffed hide of Little Sorrel, his war horse, and the graves of the man who gave up his West Point slot for Jackson and the Confederate officer who ordered the volley that fatally wounded the general.
Clint Johnson is a native Southerner whose Scots-Irish and Welsh ancestors first settled in North Carolina in the 1730s and 1760s. One of those ancestors owned more than 100 acres on Manhattan Island, New York in the early 1760s, which he leased to the island’s government for 99 years. When a grandson tried to reclaim the land for the family, those New York Yankees claimed their deed book had been lost in a fire and they would not honor the legitimate claim. As late as the 1920s, members of Clint’s family were trying to sue New York City for the return of their property. Clint counts Confederate soldiers from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama among his more recent ancestors.
He is a native of Fish Branch, Florida, an unmapped community of orange groves, cypress bayheads, cattle ranches, panthers, bobcats, alligators, and friendly neighbors. Fish Branch is what Florida was before Walt Disney World changed the state. He graduated from high school in Arcadia, Florida, the cow town whose wild and wooly residents inspired many of the cowboy paintings of Frederick Remington. He then graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in journalism.
Fascinated with The War for Southern Independence (Northern readers can call it The Civil War if you wish) since the fourth grade, Clint has written eight books on The War. One of his favorite projects was helping Clarence “Big House” Gaines, one of the nation’s best basketball coaches, write his autobiography. Clint has also written two corporate biographies, and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles on business, history and travel.
Clint, his wife Barbara, their cats, dog, and horse live in the mountains of North Carolina near where the Overmountain Men gathered to go fight the Tories at Kings Mountain, South Carolina, in the American Revolution.