Written by zabelle on 23 Jul, 2007
"Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall!"-General Barnard Bee, First Battle of ManassasStonewall Jackson House8 East Washington StLexingtonThe house must be visited on a tour. Tours are offered on the hour and the half hour. The last tour of the day is…Read More
"Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall!"-General Barnard Bee, First Battle of ManassasStonewall Jackson House8 East Washington StLexingtonThe house must be visited on a tour. Tours are offered on the hour and the half hour. The last tour of the day is offered at 4:30, we arrived at the Lexington Visitor Center at 4:15. I was so afraid we would miss the tour but the wonderful elderly lady at the center told me to relax we were only two houses away. We walked up the street and entered the gift shop. Don’t forget to use your AAA card you will get a discount. The tour begins in a small room where our guide tells us a little about Thomas Jonathan Jackson’s history. His birth in Hanover County Va, the death of his father when he was only two. His mother’s remarriage which within a couple of years leads to he and his siblings being sent off to be raised by family members. Thomas and his sister Laura were sent to live with his uncle Cummins Jackson at Jackson’s Mill in West Virginia. His brother Warren was sent off to maternal relatives and died of consumption at age 20. I loved the story about his wanting to attend West Point. There was no money to send him to any other college. Well another man was chosen for the position and lasted one day at the academy. The rest is history, he barely pasted the exam and in his class of 203 he was 203rd. By the 4th year he was number 17, out of a class of 59. If it was a five year program he would have been number 1. He excelled at the military aspects but struggled with the academics.
This house in Lexington is the only house that Stonewall ever owned. He was a teacher of Natural Philosophy and artillery tactics at Virginia Military Academy when the war broke out. His second wife Mary Anna lived with him in the house from 1859 until 1861 when he was called into service by the Confederacy. After the war Mary Anna and their only surviving daughter Julia moved from the house to North Carolina.This is the house of a college professor. We visited his office where I can imagine him correcting papers and doing his class plans. This is not a pretentious house it is comfortable and very much a family home. It is furnished with period pieces and some that belonged to the Jacksons. There is a gift store in the basement and also a garden in the rear of the house which you can visit on a self guided tour. No photography is allowed inside the house. Parking is available at the visitor center.Stonewall Jackson Memorial CemeterySouth Main StNo visit to Lexington would be complete with a stop by the cemetery where the famous Confederate General is buried. It wasn’t always the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, when he was buried here it was the Cemetery of the Lexington Presbyterian Church, of which Thomas was a member.The current grave was not his original either. His first grave was simple with a simple stone. In the 1890s a statue and a more elaborate grave were constructed and he was moved there. Today several generations of his family are buried in the plot.He would feel very much at home here with the 144 other Civil war veterans and two Virginia governors. Allow enough time to just walk around and read some of the stones, it is definitely a lesson in history worth reading.