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thomas jackson Quotes

Thomas Jackson Quotes

Birth Date: 1805-06-21 (Friday, June 21st, 1805)



    • The time for war has not yet come, but it will come, and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.
    • If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war. It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. They do not know its horrors. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils.
    • Then, Sir, we will give them the bayonet!
    • Yesterday we fought a great battle and gained a great victory, for which all the glory is due to God alone. Although under a heavy fire for several continuous hours I received only one wound, the breaking of the longest finger of my left hand; but the doctor says the finger may be saved. It was broken about midway between the hand and knuckle, the ball passing on the side next to the forefinger. Had it struck the centre, I should have lost the finger. My horse was wounded, but not killed. Your coat got an ugly wound near the hip, but my servant, who is very handy, has so far repaired it that it doesn't show very much. My preservation was entirely due, as was the glorious victory, to our God, to whom be all the honor, praise, and glory. The battle was the hardest that I have ever been in, but not near so hot in its fire.
    • My dear pastor, in my tent last night, after a fatiguing day's service, I remembered that I failed to send a contribution for our colored Sunday school. Enclosed you will find a check for that object, which please acknowledge at your earliest convenience and oblige yours faithfully.
    • Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.
    • In the Army of the Shenandoah, you were the First Brigade! In the Army of the Potomac you were the First Brigade! In the Second Corps of this Army, you are the First Brigade! You are the First Brigade in the affections of your general, and I hope by your future deeds and bearing you will be handed down the posterity as the First Brigade in this our Second War of Independence. Farewell!
    • Our men fought bravely, but the enemy repulsed me. Many valuable lives were lost. Our God was my shield. His protecting care is an additional cause for gratitude.
    • I yield to no man in sympathy for the gallant men under my command; but I am obliged to sweat them tonight, so that I may save their blood tomorrow. The line of hills southwest of Winchester must not be occupied by the enemies artillery. My own must be there and in position by daylight. ... You shall however have two hours rest.
    • The only true rule for cavalry is to follow the enemy as long as he retreats.
    • Who could not conquer with such troops as these?
    • My men have sometimes failed to take a position, but to defend one, never!
    • I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go. ... It is the Lord's Day; my wish is fulfilled. ... I have always desired to die on Sunday.
    • Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.
    • I like liquor - its taste and its effects - and that is just the reason why I never drink it.
    • I am more afraid of King Alcohol than of all the bullets of the enemy.
    • Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible; and when you strike and overcome him, never let up in the pursuit so long as your men have strength to follow; for an army routed, if hotly pursued, becomes panic-stricken, and can then be destroyed by half their number. The other rule is, never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible maneuvering you can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part, of your enemy and crush it. Such tactics will win every time, and a small army may thus destroy a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible.
    • War means fighting. The business of the soldier is to fight. Armies are not called out to dig trenches, to throw up breastworks, to live in camps, but to find the enemy and strike him; to invade his country, and do him all possible damage in the shortest possible time. This will involve great destruction of life and property while it lasts; but such a war will of necessity be of brief continuance, and so would be an economy of life and property in the end. To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory is the secret of successful war.
    • Through the broad extent of country over which you have marched by your respect for the rights and property of citizens, you have shown that you were soldiers not only to defend but able and willing to defend and protect.
    • Once you get them running, you stay right on top of them, and that way a small force can defeat a large one every time.
    • My duty is to obey orders.
    • We must make this campaign an exceedingly active one. Only thus can a weaker country cope with a stronger; it must make up in activity what it lacks in strength. A defensive campaign can only be made successful by taking the aggressive at the proper time. Napoleon never waited for his adversary to become fully prepared, but struck him the first blow.
    • Duty is ours; consequences are God's.
    • Be content and resigned to God's will.
    • Easy, Mr. Pendleton. Easy. Good to have your dander up, but it's discipline that wins the day.
    • You may be whatever you resolve to be.
    • Through life let your principal object be the discharge of duty.
    • Disregard public opinion when it interferes with your duty.
    • Endeavor to be at peace with all men.
    • Sacrifice your life rather than your word.
    • Endeavor to do well with everything you undertake.
    • Never speak disrespectfully of anyone without a cause.
    • Spare no effort to suppress selfishness, unless that effort would entail sorrow.
    • Let your conduct towards men have some uniformity.
    • Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
    • Speak but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
    • Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself ; waste nothing.
    • Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off unnecessary actions.
    • Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
    • Wrong no man by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
    • Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries as much as you think they deserve.
    • Be not disturbed at trifles, nor at accidents, common or unavoidable.
    • It is man's highest interest not to violate, or attempt to violate, the rules which Infinite Wisdom has laid down. The means by which men are to attain great elevation may be classed in three divisions - physical, mental, and moral. Whatever relates to health, belongs to the first; whatever relates to the improvement of the mind, belongs to the second. The formation of good manners and virtuous habits constitutes the third.
    • A man is known by the company he keeps.
    • Good-breeding, or true politeness, is the art of showing men by external signs the internal regard we have for them. It arises from good sense, improved by good company. It must be acquired by practice and not by books.
    • Be kind, condescending, and affable. Any one who has anything to say to a fellow-being, to say it with kind feelings and sincere desire to please; and this, whenever it is done, will atone for much awkwardness in the manner of expression.
    • Good-breeding is opposed to selfishness, vanity, or pride. Never weary your company by talking too long or too frequently.
    • Always look people in the face when addressing them, and generally when they address you.
    • Never engross the whole conversation to yourself. Say as little of yourself and friends as possible.
    • Make it a rule never to accuse without due consideration any body or association of men.
    • Rally around the Virginians, there stands Jackson like a stone wall.
    • Jackson fought for the constitutional rights of the South, and any one who imagines he fought for slavery knows nothing of Jackson.
    • It cannot well be denied that Jackson ?possessed every single attribute which makes for success in ?war. Morally and physically he was absolutely fearless. ?He accepted responsibility with the same equanimity that he faced the bullets of the enemy. He permitted no obstacle ?to turn him aside from his appointed path, and in seizing ?an opportunity or in following up a victory he was the very ?incarnation of untiring energy. ... A supreme activity, both of brain and body, was a prominent characteristic of his military life. His idea of strategy was to secure the initiative, however inferior his force; to create opportunities and to utilise them; to waste no time, and to give the enemy no rest. ...That he felt to the full the fascination of war's tremendous game we can hardly doubt. Not only did he derive, as all true soldiers must, an intense intellectual pleasure from handling his troops in battle so as to outwit and defeat his adversary, but from the day he first smelt powder in Mexico until he led that astonishing charge through the dark depths of the Wilderness his spirits never rose higher than when danger and death were rife about him. With all his gentleness there was much of the old Berserker about Stonewall Jackson, not indeed the lust for blood, but the longing to do doughtily and die bravely, as best becomes a man. His nature was essentially aggressive. He was never more to be feared than when he was retreating, and where others thought only of strong defensive positions he looked persistently for the opportunity to attack.
    • Jackson neither apologized for nor spoke in favor of the practice of slavery. He probably opposed the institution. Yet in his mind the Creator had sanctioned slavery, and man had no moral right to challenge its existence. The good Christian slaveholder was one who treated his servants fairly and humanely at all times.
    • thomas jackson

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