Fiercely religious and ambivalent about slavery, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson nevertheless became one of the most revered military leaders of the Confederacy, leading his troops from victory to victory until he was shot in a friendly fire incident in 1863.
In death "Stonewall" Jackson's legend continued to grow, both for his natural leadership and brilliant military strategy, and for being a fallen hero of a "Lost Cause."
Ethan S. Rafuse of the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft.Leavenworth delves into the life and accomplishments of this seminal figure of the Civil War on Thursday June 7, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
This program is part of the Library's Civil War Sesquicentennial observation.
Jackson was a graduate of West Point who fought in the Mexican war and then launched a career as an educator at the Virginia Military Institute.
While his military campaigns still are studied today, Jackson's temperament may have been more suited to that of teacher. He even led Bible study classes for the children of slaves and, it has been argued, was personally opposed to slavery while accepting the Biblical arguments supporting that "peculiar institution."
But with the outbreak of the Civil War Jackson's true genius as a soldier found an outlet, leading to his battlefield successes at the first and second battles of Bull Run, as well as the Valley and Peninsular campaigns, plus the battles of Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.
Rafuse, professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is the author of several books about the Civil War, including A Single Grand Victory: The First Campaign and Battle of Manassas, McClellan's War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union, Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863-1865, and Stonewall Jackson; A Biography.
Admission is free. The event will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.