|General Thomas Jonathan Jackson|
The Battle of Gettysburg has been referred to as the "high water mark of the Confederacy." I have always thought that the Confederacy's fortunes were at their zenith on the evening of May 2, 1863 as panic-stricken United States soldiers fled from the onslaught of Jackson's men as they rolled up General Hooker's right flank. Only someone as skilled, daring and lucky as Jackson could have pulled off such a stunning triumph. After he was shot a few hours later by soldiers of the 18th North Carolina Infantry, there would literally be no one to take his place, and the Army of Northern Virginia would never again be the same military instrument it had been while Jackson rode Little Sorrel to a string of historic victories. His death struck a serious blow to southern morale.
That night, Dr. Hunter McGuire, assisted by Dr. Harvey Black and others, amputated Jackson's left arm and treated the gunshot wound in his right hand. He was allowed to rest for a day, and on May 4 he was placed in an ambulance and driven to Fairfield, the home of Thomas Coleman Chandler and his family near Guiney's Station in Caroline County. The previous winter, Jackson had been the guest of the Chandlers for a period of time and had remained friends with them.
|Fairfield, late 1800s (National Park Service)|
Shown in the photograph above is the Chandler house, left, and the plantation office, right, with its distinctive double chimneys. Jackson was placed in a bed in the office building, where he would spend the final six days of his life. Shown below are two more photographs of that building from the collection of the Confederate Memorial Literary Society:
|"The house where Stonewall Jackson died"|
|Fairfield office building, 1925|
Despite the best efforts of Dr. McGuire and others, Jackson died of pneumonia on Sunday, May 10. His body was placed in a crude coffin made by soldiers, which was then placed in the front room of the office. It remained there until the following day, when a special train was sent to Guiney's Station from Richmond to bring his remains to the capital.
The citizens of Richmond had initially been told that the train would arrive at noon. But there were delays and the train carrying Jackson's remains did not pull into the city until 4 p.m. Thousands of people were thronging the streets, and the crowds around the station were particularly dense. "In order to spare Mrs. Jackson the ordeal of facing the multitudes of mourners," the decision was made to stop the train at 4th and Broad Streets. The coffin was lifted off the train, covered with a Confederate flag and placed in a hearse. A military escort accompanied the hearse to the Governor's mansion, slowly making its way through the streets teeming with people. Once at the mansion, the coffin was taken to the reception room, where Jackson's body was embalmed about 11 p.m. His remains were then placed in a metallic coffin fitted with a glass window so his face could be seen by onlookers the next day. An example of such a coffin is shown below:
|Metallic coffin with glass panel (Museum of Appalachia)|
Among the many arrangements that had to be accomplished overnight was finding a suitable band to accompany the procession the next day. The logical choice was the regimental band of the 30th Virginia Infantry, conducted by Fredericksburg native Andrew Bowering . At that time, the band was camped at Hamilton's Crossing near Fredericksburg. Andrew was summoned to the headquarters of General George Pickett and was instructed to assemble his band and have them ready to be transported to Richmond at once. In their haste to board the train, Andrew forgot to take the music for the Dead March from Handel's oratorio, "Saul," which he considered to be the most appropriate for the occasion. With the help of two or three of his band mates, he transcribed the music from memory and wrote an arrangement for each band member.
About 11 a.m. on May 12 , the coffin of Stonewall Jackson was taken from the Governor's mansion and placed in a hearse. A military escort accompanied the hearse to the Capitol building. The hearse was adorned with six black mourning plumes and was drawn by four white horses. Following were President Davis and Vice-President Stephens in a carriage, members of the cabinet and other government officials, Jackson's staff officers, the Governor of Virginia and members of the city council.
At the head of this procession was the 30th Virginia Infantry regimental band. Bowering later wrote: "General Pickett in charge raised his sword, the cannon boomed, the command was given and the solemn strains of the Dead March from Saul mingled with the tears and expressions of sorrow of the stricken people...We proceeded on our way through the street, through the throngs that pressed close by... I have played to men standing against the wall awaiting the command that would send them off to eternity and in hospitals. I have done my best to soothe the dying hours of the men of Virginia, but never was I so impressed. The tears rolled down the faces of my men and I knew that I was weeping."
Upon reaching the Capitol, Jackson's coffin, which had been wrapped in a Confederate flag, was lifted from the hearse and carried into the Capitol and placed in the Hall of Congress. Thousands of people began to slowly file by the coffin for a last glimpse of their fallen hero. "Many of the ladies as they passed, shed tears over the remains, and in deep regard for the memory of the noble chieftain, pressed their lips on the lid of his coffin."
Jackson lay in state until midnight of May 12. In the early hours of May 13, Jackson's coffin was taken back to the Governor's mansion. At about 7 a.m. it was driven to the depot of the Virginia Central Railroad, where it began it's long journey to Lexington, where Jackson wished to be buried. The train passed through Gordonsville and Charlottesville before arriving in Lynchburg.
|The packet Marshall in 1865 (Warren "H" Shindle)|
In 1863, there was no rail service in Lexington. So Jackson's coffin was taken from the train in Lynchburg and was brought to the wharf by a formal funeral procession and loaded onto the packet Marshall, a 92-foot-long vessel with state rooms, dining room and sleeping compartments and which could accommodate 60 passengers. Marshall then made its way up the North River (now called the Maury River), arriving in Lexington on May 14. There it was met by cadets from the Virginia Military Institute, who formed a military escort and placed the coffin on a caisson and accompanied it to the Institute. There it was placed in Jackson's old classroom, which had been draped in mourning. Cadets stood guard over Jackson's mortal remains that night. After Jackson's arrival in Lexington, the four smooth-bore cannons of the Institute, known as the "Four Apostles," were fired hourly in tribute.
At 10 a.m. on the morning of May 15 the funeral procession started from VMI and proceeded to Lexington Presbyterian Church, where Jackson had been a member and had taught a Sunday school class for black children. The military escort was led by Major Scott Shipp. The escort was composed of:
-The Cadet Battalion
- A battery of four artillery pieces (likely the "Four Apostles")
- A company of the original Stonewall Brigade
- A command of convalescent soldiers
- A squadron of cavalry
- The clergy
- "The Body, enveloped in the Confederate flag and covered with flowers, was borne on a caisson of the Cadet Battery, draped in mourning."
Little Sorrel, Jackson's favorite mount, was tied to the rear of the caisson.
Among the pallbearers was William George White, my great grandmother's uncle, who seven years later was an honorary pallbearer at the funeral of Robert E. Lee.
After the funeral, Jackson was buried in the Lexington Presbyterian Church Cemetery. It was later renamed in his honor.
Pictures of Jackson's grave from the 1860s. The first one shows a group of young women at his grave about 1866. Some of the girls are thought to have been students at the Ann Smith Academy, where my great grandmother attended in 1868.
|(The Confederate Memorial Literary Society)|
|(The Confederate Memorial Literary Society)|
|VMI cadets, 1868 (The Confederate Memorial Literary Society)|
This photograph claims to show the forage cap and handkerchief of Stonewall Jackson, stained with his blood on May 2, 1863:
|(The Confederate Memorial Literary Society)|
 Andrew Benjamin Bowering (1843-1923) was the son of Benjamin Bowering, an English immigrant who owned the Hope Foundry in Fredericksburg. Before the war, Andrew was a music teacher. When he joined the regimental band in 1861, it consisted of 15 members. Andrew, and nine other members of the band, were surrendered by Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. On that morning, he was ordered to blow church recall: "I was called to make the assembly call for services, this being Sunday morning. I gave the call at Appomattox Court House and Walter Moncure [the regimental chaplain] of my regiment...preached to the soldiers. That assembly call was the last note that I played during the war." After the surrender, Andrew returned to Fredericksburg, where he lived for the rest of his life. He was active in the civic life of the town--he was president of the school board, commissioner of revenue for almost 50 years, worked at his father's foundry. As might be expected, Andrew's life continued to be devoted to music. He was the conductor of the Fredericksburg Band and was appointed official Bandmaster of the United Confederate Veterans.
|The Fredericksburg Band, about 1920. Andrew Bowering stands in front at far right|
My main sources for this article were:
-The Richmond Daily Dispatch May 11-16, 1863
- The Boat that Brought Stonewall Home
- An Account of Jackson's Death and Funeral --Part 1
- The Bands of the Confederacy
- Jackson Funeral News Account