These Stonewall Jackson quotes highlight his thoughts about war, his strategies, and beliefs about soldiers.
General Thomas Jonathan Jackson served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He is one of the best-known Confederate commanders and had several nicknames, including Stonewall Jackson. He was also called ‘Old Jack,’ ‘Old Blue Light,’ and ‘Tom Fool.’
Jackson had a prominent role in most of the military engagements in the Eastern Theater of the war until his death and was an integral reason the Confederacy won many significant battles. Military historians regard Jackson as one of the most gifted tactical commanders in U.S. history.
The military still studies his tactics today. He was such a key element to the war that his death proved a severe setback for the Confederacy. Its military prospects were not only dampened, but the morale of the troops and public also suffered.
Keep reading these Stonewall Jackson quotes to learn more about his thoughts on death, war, and God as well as the events surrounding his death.
Don’t forget to also check out these General George Patton quotes from one of the great American heroes.
General Stonewall Jackson quotes about death and the hazards of battle
1. “My religious beliefs teach me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time of my death.” ― Stonewall Jackson
2. “I am more afraid of alcohol than of all the bullets of the enemy.” ― Stonewall Jackson
3. “The hardships of forced marches are often more painful than the dangers of battle.” ― Stonewall Jackson
4. (A few moments before he died) “Order A. P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks…” ― Stonewall Jackson
5. (Stonewall Jackson’s last words) “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.” ― Stonewall Jackson
6. “Sir! Men who desert their comrades in war deserve to be shot! And Officers who intrude for them deserve to be hung!” ― Stonewall Jackson
7. “It is the Lord’s Day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday.” ― Stonewall Jackson
Inspiring Stonewall Jackson quotes about Leadership
8. “He is cautious. He ought to be. But he is NOT slow. Lee is a phenomenon. He is the only man whom I would follow blindfolded.” ― Stonewall Jackson
9. “Never take counsel of your fears.” ― Stonewall Jackson
10. “I was afraid the fire would not be hot enough for me to distinguish myself.” ― Stonewall Jackson
11. “Press on, press on, men.” ― Stonewall Jackson
12. “Don’t say it’s impossible! Turn your command over to the next officer. If he can’t do it, I’ll find someone who can, even if I have to take him from the ranks!” ― Stonewall Jackson
13. “You may be whatever you resolve to be.” ― Stonewall Jackson
14. “I yield to no man in sympathy for the gallant men under my command; but I am obliged to sweat them tonight, so that I may save their blood tomorrow.” ― Stonewall Jackson
15. “Arms is a profession that, if its principles are adhered to for success, requires an officer do what he fears may be wrong, and yet, according to military experience, must be done, if success is to be attained.” ― Stonewall Jackson
Strategic Stonewall Jackson quotes about war and soldiers
16. “The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.” ― Stonewall Jackson
17. “Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up on the pursuit.” ― Stonewall Jackson
18. “My men have sometimes failed to take a position, but to defend one, never!” ― Stonewall Jackson
19. “Then, Sir, we will give them the bayonet!” ― Stonewall Jackson
20. “Shoot the brave officers, and the cowards will run away and take the men with them.” ― Stonewall Jackson
21. “This army stays here until the last wounded man is removed. Before I leave them to the enemy, I will lose many more men.” ― Stonewall Jackson
22. “If officers desire to have control over their commands, they must remain habitually with them, industriously attend to their instruction and comfort, and in battle lead them well.” ― Stonewall Jackson
23. “When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.” ― Stonewall Jackson
24. “The business of a soldier is to fight. Armies are not called out to dig trenches, to throw up breastworks, and live in camps, but to find the enemy, and strike him; to invade his country, and do him all possible damage in the shortest possible time… but such a war would, of necessity, be of brief continuance, and so would be an economy of prosperity and life in the end.” ― Stonewall Jackson
25. “The only true rule for cavalry is to follow the enemy as long as he retreats.” ― Stonewall Jackson
26. “Our movement was a great success; I think the most successful military movement of my life.” ― Stonewall Jackson
27. “To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory is the secret of successful war.” ― Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson quotes and sayings about God
28. “We are all but instruments of God.” ― Stonewall Jackson
29. “Our God was my shield. His protecting care is an additional cause for gratitude.” ― Stonewall Jackson
30. “But I expect to receive more credit for it than I deserve. Most men will think I planned it all from the first, but it was not so. I simply took advantage of circumstances as they were presented to me in the providence of God. I feel that His hand led me – let us give Him the glory.” ― Stonewall Jackson
31. “I am more anxious than I can express that my men should be not only good soldiers of their country but also good soldiers of the cross.” ― Stonewall Jackson
32. “Under divine blessing, we must rely on the bayonet when firearms cannot be furnished.” ― Stonewall Jackson
Stonewall Jackson quotes about duty and other random thoughts
33. “I like liquor – its taste and its effects – and that is just the reason why I never drink it.” ― Stonewall Jackson
34. “I find I like it too much.” ― Stonewall Jackson
35. “My duty is to obey orders.” ― Stonewall Jackson
36. “All I am and all I have is at the service of my country.” ― Stonewall Jackson
37. “Madam, if your son were to come home and try to shirk duty, you ought to shut your door in his face and treat him as a renegade unworthy of your name or regard.” ― Stonewall Jackson
38. “Who could not conquer with such troops as these?” ― Stonewall Jackson
39 “Look men, there stands Jackson like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians!” ― General Barnard Bee
40. “Duty is ours: consequences are God’s.” ― Stonewall Jackson
What did you learn from these Stonewall Jackson quotes?
The Battle of Chancellorsville would be the last battle the general fought in. Jackson and his troops deployed an aggressive flanking maneuver, one of the most successful and dramatic movements of the war, to the right of the Union lines. The battle ensued and ended when it became too dark for them to see. Stonewall Jackson and his troops were returning to camp when the same darkness that ended the battle would become his undoing.
The guard mistook them for Union soldiers and shouted out, “Halt, who goes there?” He did not wait for a response before he began shooting at the company of soldiers. Jackson’s staff frantically began shouting to identify themselves, but Major John D. Barry replied, “It’s a damned Yankee trick! Fire!”
Jackson was hit by three bullets, two in the left arm and one in the right hand. They killed several other men in his staff during the exchange of fire. Doctors ended up amputating his arm and he appeared to be healing. However, he died eight days after getting shot from complications of pneumonia.
What’s your biggest takeaway from these Stonewall Jackson quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.
May 10, 2021 7:00 AM EST