Almost an Idol

Why does the South adore Stonewall Jackson? He was not a particularly lovable man. And he was certainly not a romantic, dashing cavalier, like Jeb Stewart; a stainless aristocrat calmly daring all the odds, like Robert E. Lee; or even a wizard of the saddle, like Bedford Forrest. Yet at Stone Mountain, Georgia—the Confederacy's Mount Rushmore—it is Jackson who is memorialized, with Lee and Jefferson Davis: the odd, eccentric, dour, stern Presbyterian, who during the invasion of Maryland "locked himself in the parlor to write a dispatch to Lee and to escape the admiring crowds, [who] would not be denied. They called to him through the shutters and doors. They pulled hairs from his horse's tail until a staff officer drove them away. . . . After a shutter was broken and the windows were endangered, Jackson gave up and admitted the mob, mostly women and children, who swarmed over him, throwing red and white roses. . . . 'Really, ladies,' he protested, 'this is the first time I was ever surrounded by the enemy.'" It is also the litigious, unyielding, rough-visaged hero, who, a month after Antietam, was accosted by a young mother who w anted him to bless her 18- month-old son:

Jackson, astride [his mount] Sorrel, seemed no more surprised, said Captain Charles Blackford, "than Queen Elizabeth at being asked to touch for the 'King's Evil.'" He took the infant tenderly...

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