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this week in the civil war

Stonewall Jackson dies

The Second Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., was fought 150 years ago in May 1863 in and around Fredericksburg, Va.

Thousands of Confederate forces clashed with Union foes eager to press onward to the gates of Richmond, Va., capital of the Confederacy. Union troops overran and captured Marye’s Heights at Fredericksburg in fierce combat that included hand-to-hand fighting with Southern rivals, many of whom were killed or fled on foot.

But Confederate Robert E. Lee countered May 4 with a fierce assault of his own, retaking that strategic high ground and forcing a Union withdrawal. The chaotic series of days would close out with the death May 10, 1863, of the mortally wounded Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. He had contracted pneumonia after having his left arm amputated after being mistakenly shot by his own men May 2, 1863. Lee was famously quoted as saying of Jackson’s wounding: “He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm.”

Jackson, gradually growing weaker at a house where he was taken, was with his wife and their infant daughter at his bedside when he died. Jackson would be buried in Lexington, Va., mourned throughout the Confederacy.

– Associated Press

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