A General’s Books Tell Tales
A dedicated VHS volunteer has entered these volumes into the Legacy Library project on LibraryThing.com, recreating Stonewall Jackson’s library for all to search. A library can provide remarkable insight into a person’s interests, pursuits, and influences; Jackson’s library is no exception. It contained many of the standard works that graced the shelves of other contemporary scholars and included Abbot’s Histories, Plutarch’s Lives, Pilgrim’s Progress and the works of John Milton. Yet, Jackson’s books also reflect his deep spiritual faith and brilliant tactical mind.
Theological texts abound in Jackson’s library. There are numerous sermons, A Series of Discourses on the Christian Revelation, and the Lives of the Apostles. Jackson had multiple versions of the books of the Bible, including the New Testament in Spanish and French. His deep spiritual faith was well known to others; one volume, The Bible and Men of Learning in a Course of Lectures, is inscribed, “For Major T. J. Jackson, V.M.I., from some friends of the V.M.I. in New York.”
Jackson’s library contains many military texts that chronicle the arc of his career, from West Point cadet and soldier to V.M.I. professor and finally to lieutenant general in the Army of Northern Virginia. A copy of An Elementary Treatise on Optics Designed for the Use of the Cadets of the United States Military Academy contains profuse marginal notations. There are the standard instructions for field and heavy artillery and Army Regulations: Adopted for Use of the Army of the Confederate States. One surprising find is the Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States with the date “Nov. 15th, 1862” in Jackson’s hand.
Other notable works include a guide to Florence, The Family Kitchen Gardener and The New Hydropathic Cook-Book. You can explore all of Stonewall Jackson’s books on the Legacy Library project at http://www.librarything.com/catalog/Stonewall_Jackson.