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Decoying the Yanks: Jackson's Valley…
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Decoying the Yanks: Jackson's Valley Campaign

by Champ Clark

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"Stonewall" Jackson's troops pose a threat to Washington, D.C.

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"Everything had a thrifty look," wrote a Confederate soldier in the Shenandoah Valley in 1861. ("Imperiled Land of Milk and Honey")
The 1st Virginia Brigade, encamped on a farm not far from the stream called Bull Run, lined up in close column on the morning of November 4, 1861.
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"General Lee was the handsomest man I ever saw. John C. Breckinridge was a model of manly beauty, John B. Gordon, a picture for the sculptor, and Joe Johnston looked every inch a soldier. None of these things could be said of Jackson."
- Lieutenant Henry Kyd Douglas, aide to General Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson)
Thomas J. Jackson was an unlikely combination of opposites. He was a tender husband who doted on children, but also a pitiless disciplinarian who "would have a man shot at the drop of a hat," remarked one of his soldiers, "and drop it himself."
He had no particular difficulty in deciding when to render to Caesar and when to render to God. He strongly believed that Sunday should be set aside for worship, and he would not even write a letter on that day. But he reasoned that if the Lord in His Wisdom chose to place a vulnerable enemy in Jackson's path on the Sabbath, then His Will be done.
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