Centennial Times - November 30, 1861 - Jackson commands Valley
November 30, 1861
‘Stonewall’ Jackson Commands Valley District
Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, Confederate Provisional Army, has been assigned to the command of the Valley District in the Department of Northern Virginia, with headquarters at Winchester, Va., it was announced by Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of War, last month.
The Department of Northern Virginia was established on Oct. 22 with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston assigned to command. The department is composed of three districts, which are: the Valley District, embracing the section of the country between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany Mountains, commanded by Jackson; the Potomac District, between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the left bank of Powell’s River, commanded by Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard; and the Aquia District, between Powell’s River and the mouth of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. T. H. Holmes.
Jackson, who was promoted to the rank of major general on Oct. 7, was notified of the assignment on Oct. 21.
Henry Kyd Douglas has sent us Maj. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s farewell to his brigade on Nov. 4.
Although no newspaper correspondents accompany Jackson’s men, Douglas and the other members of Jackson’s staff transcribed their commander’s speech, and sent it to the Richmond Dispatch, which reprinted it as follows:
“Officers and men of the 1st Brigade, I am not here to make a speech, but simply to say farewell. I first met you at Harper’s Ferry in the commencement of the war, and I cannot take leave of you without giving expression to my admiration of your conduct from that day to this, whether on the march, in the bivouac, the tented field, or on the bloody plains of Manassas, where you gained the well-deserved reputation of having decided the fate of the battle. Throughout the broad extent of country over which you have marched, by your respect for the rights and property of citizens, you have shown that you were soldiers not only to defend, but able and willing both to defend and protect. You have already gained a brilliant and deservedly high reputation throughout the army and the whole Confederacy, and I trust in the future by your own deeds on the field and by the same kind of providence who has heretofore favored our cause, that you will gain more victories, and add additional luster to the reputation you now enjoy. You have already gained a proud position in the history of this, our second War of Independence. I shall look with anxiety to your future movements, and I trust whenever I shall hear of the 1st Brigade on the field of battle it will be of still nobler deeds achieved and higher reputation won.
“In the Army of the Shenandoah, you were the 1st Brigade; in the Army of the Potomac, you were the 1st Brigade; in the 2nd Corps of this Army, you are the 1st Brigade; you are the 1st Brigade in the affections of your general; and I hope by your future deeds and bearing you will be handed down to posterity as the 1st Brigade in our second War of Independence!”
The men broke into a rebel yell, the account says, and General Jackson, muttering, “The sweetest music I have ever heard,” waved his cap at them and rode away.
Used with permission of the Herald-Mail
59 x 33 cms
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