Life and Campaigns of Stonewall Jacksonby Robert Lewis Dabney
Jackson was one of the most famous generals of the Civil War, and one of the most successful for the Confederates.
Robert Lewis Dabney was an American Christian theologian and a Southern Presbyterian pastor, but he's best known for being chief of staff for General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson during his famous Valley Campaign and the Seven Days Battles.
Jackson was one of the most famous generals of the Civil War, and one of the most successful for the Confederates. Jackson got his famous nickname during the First Battle of Bull Run, when another Confederate general told his men to rally behind Jackson's brigade. After being the hero at Bull Run, Jackson led an army in the Valley Campaign of 1862, fighting three Union armies and keeping them from linking together.
Jackson also participated at Second Bull Run, Antietam and Fredericksburg, but his most famous battle was Chancellorsville, when he marched his men on a famous flank march and attack at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. The march would end up winning the battle for the Confederates, but Jackson was mortally wounded that night.
Dabney's biography of Jackson is invaluable to all Civil War students, not only for the history but as a piece of Lost Cause literature.
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The earliest biography of Jackson, is written by a theologian, who served briefly and very ineptly, as AAG on his staff. By the author¿s own admission, the book is polemic. It must also be remembered that in the 19th century most biographies were highly subjective and sought to place their topic is the best possible light. Jackson¿s wife, Anna asked Robert E Lee¿s opinion of the work and in his most diplomatic manner he was able to point out many factual errors in the claims of Dr. Dabney. The book is difficult to read, rambling, at times even bazaar. There are numerous Jackson biographies that are more objective, more readable, more accurate but there is value in reading Dabney because of his relationship with Jackson. I would recommend this book only for the serious civil war student, it has little value for the casual reader and certainly does not paint an accurate picture of Jackson.. If you are only planning to read one biography of Jackson this is definitely not the one! My vote for the two best available Jackson books are Henderson¿s Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War because of the author¿s military background; and Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend by James I Robertson which is and will be for a long time the standard of Jackson biography.
This is the best biography of Jackson I have read. Dabney was Jackson's chief of staff and had a front row seat.