General Stonewall Jackson was the great-grandson of a certain John Jackson and Elizabeth Cummins, who were sent to America as indentured slaves because they had been caught stealing money back in England. The couple met on the ship that was taking them to their new life and instantly fell in love. Even though they were sent to different places, the two managed to find each other after serving out their sentence, and got married in the year of 1755.
The family moved from Maryland to Virginia and started buying land, which served them well later on during the war. They had four children together, and lived a long and good life together. Their grandchild Thomas Jackson was to become one of the greatest commanders that history has ever known.
Thomas Jackson was the third child in his family, and from the time he was little, he was no stranger to grief. His little sister died of typhoid, and while little Jackson was watching over his dying sister, his father passed away of the same disease. After his father died the debts that his family owed increased, and they were forced to sell all their possessions and move to a much smaller one-room house.
A few years later, his mother remarried. The person who became the children's stepfather did not like his new children, and on top of that, he still was not able to bring the family out of their financial problems. One year later, Thomas Jackson's mother died, and he was sent to live with their uncle Cummins Jackson.
Thomas' uncle was very strict but he did take care of the children. Jackson grew up taking care of his uncle's farm, taking care of the sheep and the oxen, bringing in the yearly harvest of wheat and corn. The problem was that when it came to education, Jackson did not really have anybody to teach him. Because of this, all that he knew came from practical knowledge and the few books that he managed to borrow.
When Thomas Jackson enrolled in the military academy, he had trouble with the entrance exams but he proved to be so dedicated in his studies there that he graduated 17th in his class, out of the 59 students.
The first time that Jackson actually went to war was in the Mexican-American war. Here, Jackson started out as a second lieutenant and began to earn his reputation as a good commander. Jackson refused to follow what he deemed to be a bad order, and in doing so he saved the lives of his troops. But later on, he followed an order that did not seem correct, and the result was the loss of lives of innocent Mexican civilians. All in all, Jackson emerged from that war with the rank of major and loyalty of his troops.
Afterwards Jackson became a professor in the Virginia Military Institute. He taught people how to fight and win a war. So effective were his teachings, that even today they are considered to be great lessons in warfare. During his time as a teacher, he became beloved of the black community in town. He started Sunday school classes for the African Americans in town, and he and his wife taught in those classes. He is described as being loved and revered by the students in his class, as he treated his students with respect and in return, they loved him.
Thomas Jackson's first wife died after giving birth to a stillborn baby. A few years later, he remarried and after having yet another baby that died, Jackson finally got a daughter, whom he named after his sister and mother.
It was in 1861 that the civil war began and after starting out as a drillmaster, he went on to do the heroic deeds that would put him down in history as the greatest Commander that the United States of America has ever known.