Thursday, December 11, 2008

Facing South


This statue of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, by Moses Ezekiel, addresses the parade grounds at VMI.

Jackson taught at VMI before joining the Confederate army in 1861. He was an unpopular professor (before becoming a beloved general), but his understanding of military tactics was so superior that his teachings and battles are still studied today at VMI, as well as - I am told - around the world.

He acquired his nickname during the Battle of Bull Run, when another Confederate general referred to him as "standing like a stone wall" in the face of the Union assault.

Jackson is often said to have cut an unimpressive physical figure, both on his feet and on horseback. This statue appears rather to reflect his moral stature as a man and a military commander.

An interesting photographic portrait taken of him not long before his death after the Battle of Chancellorsville is here.

Images of - and references to - Jackson are ubiquitous in and around Lexington. You'll no doubt be seeing many more of them in this blog.

6 comments:

Tanya said...

Interesting that he wasn't a popular professor.

JM said...

Very nice perspective against the blue sky and good information too.
Love the old court house on the previous shots. The colour is just great!

MurciaDailyPhoto and www.asthes.tk said...

The perspective with which you've taken the image gives the character a haughty look.

mkhansen said...

MDP - I suppose you are right. I'm curious to find another angle for this and see the true expression the sculptor has given him. As I understand it, he was not a haughty man, though he is said to have been very demanding of his men.

jill said...

Very nice angle MK. I appreciate the history also.

Teresa said...

I came across your blog of Lexington, Virginia totally by accident, and glad that I had! My father attended VMI nearly 48 years ago. I particularly find the quote above Jackson’s arch inspirational, “you may be whatever you resolve to be.” An excellent blog; thank you for sharing such great photos of Lexington!