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"Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."

Following perhaps his greatest military achievement up until this battle, Stonewall Jackson was gravely wounded when scouting for a night attack between the lines. He was hit twice in his left arm and once in the right palm.

Jackson's medical director, Dr. Hunter McGuire, and two aides arrived shortly thereafter and placed the wounded general on a litter. He was carried only a short distance before one of the men carrying him was wounded in the arm causing Jackson to be thrown to the ground. He was picked back up and carried further until he was placed into a nearby ambulance.

McGuire leaned closer to examine the wounded man. "I hope you are not badly hurt, General." said the Doctor.

"I am badly injured. I fear I am dying. I am glad you have come. I think the wound in my shoulder is still bleeding." he replied.

After further examination at the hospital, McGuire resolved upon cutting off the left arm two inches below the shoulder.

"Do for me whatever you think is best." Jackson approved.

McGuire administered some chloroform and began the amputation. The surgery was over by 3:30 A.M. the next morning without complication. Later that morning an aide read a letter from General Lee congradulating him upon his stunning victory. Jackson responded devoutly, "General Lee should have given the praise to God."

The Mighty Stonewall was moved to Guiney's Station the next day. McGuire noticed the wounds to be healing nicely, although Jackson complained several times of stomach pains. But two days later he took a turn for the worse and by Sunday May 10, McGuire admitted recovery was unlikely. Old Blue Light had been showing symptoms of pneumonia for the last two days. His wife and baby child were now with him at his death bed.

"I have always desired to die on Sunday." Jackson said. A few moments before he died he cried out, "Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly!"

Doctor McGuire noticed a few minutes later that "a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face."

Suddenly Jackson became very quiet and in a clear voice said, "Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees." From that moment on he belongs to the ages.

Go Back!

Battle of Chancellorsville: Return to Homepage
Prelude to Battle: April 1863: Return to it
May 1, 1863: Return to it
May 2, 1863: Return to it
May 2, 1863: Continued: Return to it
May 3-5, 1863: Return to it

The Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia.

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