This essay is part of the chapter “Southerners” in Brion McClanahan’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes
The Northern essayist and Republican partisan E.L. Godkin wrote following the death of “Stonewall” Jackson in 1863 that Jackson was “the most extraordinary phenomenon of this extraordinary war.
Pure, honest, simple-minded, unselfish, and brave, his death is a loss to the whole of America, for, whatever be the result of this war, the United States will enjoy the honor of having bred and educated him.” Godkin claimed him because he recognized that Jackson was more than a representative of the South, he was an American hero, pure and simple.
Jackson was born in 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia. While the Jacksons had a solid reputation in America, they came from humble beginnings.