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Near Guinea in Caroline County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Staggering Blow

 
 
A Staggering Blow Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
1. A Staggering Blow Marker
Inscription.
We had confidence in him that knew no bounds...his loss was irreparable.
Wills Lee, Richmond Howitzers

News of Stonewall Jackson's death stunned the South. "A greater sense of loss and deeper grief never followed the death of mortal man," recorded one of Jackson's men. Union soldiers felt both joy and lament. "I rejoice at Stonewall Jackson's death as a gain to our cause," wrote Union Den. Gouverneur Warren, "yet in my soldier's heart I cannot but see him the best soldier of all this war, and grieve his untimely end."

Jackson's death fell heaviest on Gen. Robert E. Lee. He had come to rely on Jackson to carry out his plans, and Jackson had seldom failed him. "Such an executive officer the sun never shone on," Lee once said of his subordinate. "I have but to show him my design, and I know that if it can be done it will be done." With Stonewall gone, Lee would never again achieve the success he had gained at Chancellorsville.

(caption of large picture, upper left): Mourners at Jackson's grave in Lexington, Virginia.

(caption of picture, upper right): Jackson's wife, Mary Anna and her daughter Julia Jackson. Mary Anna never remarried, wore mourning clothes the remainder
A Staggering Blow Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2007
2. A Staggering Blow Marker
The house where Gen. Jackson died can be seen behind the marker.
of her life, and became the most revered Civil War widow in the South.

(caption of Jackson's portrait): The last photo of Stonewall Jackson, taken two weeks before his death. Mrs. Jackson felt the image made her husband look too stern.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 8.89′ N, 77° 26.419′ W. Marker is near Guinea, Virginia, in Caroline County. Marker can be reached from Stonewall Jackson Road (Virginia Route 606) near Guinea Station Road (Virginia Route 634). Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Woodford VA 22580, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. War Comes to Fairfield (here, next to this marker); Fairfield Plantation (here, next to this marker); Stonewall Jackson Died (here, next to this marker); Guinea Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Plantations on Guinea Station Road (approx. 4.1 miles away); Stanard’s Mill (approx. 4.5 miles away); Mud Tavern (approx. 4.6 miles away); James Farmer, Civil Rights Leader (approx. 4.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Guinea.
 
Regarding A Staggering Blow.
"A Staggering Blow" and two other markers. image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
3. "A Staggering Blow" and two other markers.
This marker is located on the far right. A separate, stone marker with information on Stonewall Jackson's death is on the left. The stone reads: "Stonewall Jackson died May 10, 1863; buried Lexington, VA".
This is one of several markers for the Battle of Chancellorsville associated with the wounding and death of General "Stonewall" Jackson. See the Wounding of Stonewall Jackson Tour by Markers in the links section for a listing of related markers on the tour.
 
Also see . . .
1. Stonewall Jackson Shrine. National Park Service website, from the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial series. (Submitted on November 5, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. The Death and Life of Stonewall Jackson. Shot by his own troops, Confederate General Sonewall Jackson died in May 1863. In Virginia, his legend lives on.
An article by Tony Reichhardt and published online by The Historic Traveler. (Requires free subscription to read the entire article). (Submitted on November 5, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

3. Wounding of Stonewall Jackson Virtual Tour by Markers. This virtual tour includes markers on the Wounding of Stonewall Jackson walking trail and sites associated with the Jackson's death on May 10, 1863. (Submitted on December 8, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. The Death Room
The Stonewall Jackson Shrine image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
4. The Stonewall Jackson Shrine
The RF&P Railroad acquired the property in 1909, restored the farm office and called it the "Jackson Shrine." The railroad donated the site to the National Park Service in 1937.

After a 27-mile ambulance ride, Jackson's aides carried "Stonewall" to a room prepared for him by the Chandlers. Jackson endured the long journey remarkably well, and despite the ordeal, remembered his manners when apologizing to Mr. Chandler for being unable to shake hands with his host.

The Chandler's prepared the room using the same bed frame and one of the same blankets exhibited today. They also added the clock on the mantel with the hope that it would make the room look more homelike and cheerful, but furnishings could not dictate the mood of the room. Despite the efforts of pneumonia specialists, nothing seemed to bring relief to the General. Jackson observed, "I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go." On Sunday, May 10, 1863, the doctors lost all hope of Jackson's recovery, and the General was notified of his condition. But as Jackson grew physically weaker, he remained spiritually strong. "It is the Lord's Day; my wish is fulfilled," said Jackson. "I have always desired to die on Sunday." Jackson realized that desire at 3:15 p.m. with Dr. McGuire carefully noting Jackson's last words:

"A few moments before he died he cried out in his delirium, 'Order A.P. Hill
The route to the "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine is well marked. image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
5. The route to the "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine is well marked.
Visitors to the "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine can follow Stonewall Jackson Road from the I-95 Thornburg exit, or follow the actual route his ambulance took down Guinea Station Road (from Spotsylvania via Massaponax).
to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks' -- then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, 'Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.'"

Excerpt from the NPS website, Stonewall Jackson Shrine.
    — Submitted November 5, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.

2. The Bed Frame
After the war ended, Mrs. Ann Boulware, of nearby La Vista Plantation, established and became the first president of the Ladies Memorial Society of Spotsylvania. In this capacity she oversaw local efforts to obtain land for the purpose of a burial ground, to remove the dead Confederate soldiers from nearby battlefields, and to decorate and honor the deceased heroes at Spotsylvania Court House.

She accepted from Dr. Thomas Chandler, owner of Fairfield Plantation, the death bed of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. With the bed, she received instructions to sell it, with the proceeds used towards fundraising efforts pay for the removal of the dead soldiers from the nearby battlefields
Where Jackson died image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
6. Where Jackson died
The building where Stonewall Jackson died is the only civil war structure remaining at the site. The room where he died still contains the original bed frame, blanket and clock from that fateful day.
(subsequently reinterred in the Confederate Cemetery in Fredericksburg, VA). Fortunately, money was raised without the need to sell the bed. The bed upon which Jackson died remained at La Vista until 1900.
    — Submitted November 5, 2007, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.

 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Where Jackson died image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
7. Where Jackson died
The building where Stonewall Jackson died is the only civil war structure remaining at the site. The room where he died still contains the original bed frame, blanket and clock from that fateful day.
The Waiting Room image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
8. The Waiting Room
During Jackson's illness, staff officers used this room to relax, write letters, and chat. Doctors attending to Jackson consulted here. "All that human skill could devise was done to stay the hand of death," one affirmed, but it was not enough. By May 10, Jackson's physicians gave up all hope of his recovery.
Summoning his wife, they informed her that the general had but a few short hours to live.
A letter framed and displayed on a wall in the "Death House". image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., November 3, 2007
9. A letter framed and displayed on a wall in the "Death House".
                                        Guinea's Depot
                                        12 O'clock M. May 9th 63

My dear Sister:

     Mrs. Hoge & I found the General worse this morning. He had been sinking during the morning but is doing better now the Drs. think.
     Mrs. J. is very much afflicted. Mrs. H's arrival is very timely, and will prove of great consoloation to Mrs. Jackon. I will try to let you know about the Gen. as often as possible.

          I am
               With much love
                    Your aff. brother
                         Jas. P. Smith
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,529 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on , by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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