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Stonewall Jackson papers

Identifier: MS-0102
This collection consists primarily of the personal papers of Civil War General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863). The bulk of the letters date from the pre-Civil War period and concern professional, personal, and domestic matters, including many in which Jackson writes about his religious faith, his concerns about health and diet, and his family.

The collection provides insight into Jackson's personality and philosophy, and presents a portrait of the man as he was in the years before he gained national fame as a wartime military leader. A small percentage of the documents date from the Civil War period and are directly related to Jackson's Confederate Army service.

The collection includes approximately 160 items of Jackson's outgoing correspondence (dated 1844 to 1863) spanning his cadetship at West Point, his service in the U.S. Army (1846 to 1851), including his participation in the Mexican War, his years as a faculty member at the VMI (1851 to 1861), and his career in the Confederate States Army. The bulk of the correspondence is addressed to his sister, Laura Ann Arnold (Jackson). Other correspondents include Margaret Junkin Preston, and Confederate States of America Generals Joseph E. Johnston and Daniel Harvey Hill.

Other series include incoming correspondence, Civil War reports, orders, dispatches, and documents associated with Jackson.

In addition to Jackson's personal papers, the collection contains the allied papers of Jackson's second wife, Mary Anna Jackson (Morrison) (approximately 143 items), his daughter Julia Jackson Christian (approximately 10 items), and his sister Laura Ann Jackson Arnold (approximately 115 items).


  • 1844-1915


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to research, but there are special conditions governing use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are required to use photocopies or online versions of the Stonewall Jackson documents.

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information


3 Linear Feet


This collection consists primarily of Stonewall Jackson's outgoing personal correspondence for the years 1844 to 1860. The collection also contains a relatively small number of Civil War era papers, as well as the papers of Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, his second wife, and papers of the Arnold family.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in western Virginia (now West Virginia) to Julia Neale Jackson and Jonathan Jackson. Jackson was orphaned at a young age and he was raised by extended members of his father’s family, mainly his uncle, Cummins Jackson.

Jackson graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in June 1846 and subsequently served in the U.S. Army, during which time he fought in the Mexican War. Jackson resigned his commission in 1851, after he was appointed Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at VMI. He moved to Lexington, Virginia and settled into life as a civilian

In April 1861, Jackson rode off to war. Following the first Battle of Manassas, he became widely known by the nickname "Stonewall" and earned lasting fame for his leadership of Confederate forces, especially during the Valley Campaign of 1862.

Jackson died on May 10, 1863 as a result of complications from wounds received at Chancellorsville, Virginia along with pneumonia. His body was brought back to Lexington for burial in the cemetery on the south edge of town.

Physical Location

Manuscripts stacks and oversized case 2
A Guide to the Stonewall Jackson Papers 1844-1915
© 2001 VirginiaMilitary Institute
Language of description
Description is inEnglish

Revision Statements

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Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450