Wounding of Stonewall Jackson Trail
In early 1996, Robert K. Krick, the Chief Historian for Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania N.M.P., identified the exact spot of Jackson's wounding. This folder guides people on a short loop trail around the Chancellorsville Visitor Center to this location. A printed brochure with a map is available in the Visitor Center. For those wanting additional details ask the historian at the visitor center. Call the visitor center (540) 786-2880 to find out if guided walking tours will be given on the day of your visit. Also consult Krick's essay in "Chancellorsville: The Battle and Its Aftermath," edited by Gary Gallagher, pages 107-142.
In the midst of his great victory over Union general Joseph Hooker Confederate commander Robert E. Lee suffered an irreparable loss. On the night of May 2, 1863, during the The Battle of Chancellorsville his dynamic subordinate Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally wounded by friendly fire. This short walking tour will guide you through the area where that momentous event occurred.
Snaking through the dense woods of the Wilderness, the column covered a twelve-mile path that eventually led it north to the Orange Turnpike. In the late afternoon of May 2, Jackson smashed into the unsuspecting troops of the Union Eleventh Corps, two miles to your left. Outnumbered and outflanked, the Northerners gave way. In just over two hours of fighting the Confederates drove them back more than two miles, into the woods to your right as you face the battle painting.
The North Carolina brigade of General James Lane moved up the Plank Road to form the new Confederate line. Confusion and uncertainty pervaded Lane's men as they moved into position; they knew that Union troops were in the immediate area, but the Northerners' exact location remained a mystery. To the north of the Plank Road Lane's line crossed the Bullock Road, which is visible to your right-front as you face the sign. Covering this portion of the line was the 18th North Carolina regiment. A volley from the 18th led to Jackson's wounding just moments later.
STOP 3: WOUNDING OF JACKSON MONUMENT
These stones mark the area where Jackson was first tended, rather than where he was wounded. When the 18th North Carolina fired on Jackson's party the general's horse bolted into the woods. Near this spot Captain Richard E. Wilbourn of the signal corps seized the animal's bridle and eased Jackson to the ground. He and division commander General A.P. Hill cut open the sleeve of Jackson's coat and applied handkerchiefs to his wounds to stop the bleeding.
Spurred by the belief that the returning Confederates were Union cavalrymen charging their line, Lane's men had fired into the darkness. One bullet lodged in Jackson's right palm and two struck his left arm. As a result of the wounds Jackson would lose his left arm. One week later, on May 10, 1863, Jackson would his life. Click here to read more about the death of Jackson. Click here to read about visiting the "Stonewall" Jackson Shrine where the general died.
Did You Know?
30 acres of Civil War battlefield land is destroyed every day. Civil War Preservation Trust preserves 133.2 acres of the Bristoe Station battlefield.