The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 538
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
"Greatest of Generals is General Stonewall Jackson." He follows
this statement with a full explanation that he writes in no hero-
worshipping spirit; that he is constitutionally incapable of wor-
shipping any human being. He said he could never stand "hat in
hand awaiting the Olympian nod, or bend the back" to any
After having refuted fully any accusation that he was a hero-
worshipper he proceeded to describe his "hero" in the most glow-
ing and extravagant terms. To Cooke, Jackson was a man with a
soul of "grandeur and nobility, a childlike purity and gracious
sweetness," great, noble, calm on the battlefield, "trusting to a
higher power." As he watched he observed that in his eyes "there
plainly was a soul on fire," "a slumbering volcano clearly burned
beneath that face so calm and collected." At Slaughter Mountain,
at Cold Harbor, in the Shenandoah it was his habit to give the
command "Come onl" and never "Go onl" The men who fol-
lowed Jackson described him in battle as being transformed into
a new being, that in combat "the eye flashed, the cheek flushed
hot, the voice so low and calm on ordinary occasions, rose to loud
and strident tones, as it called like a clarion to the charge. At
such moments they tell you, 'Old Stonewall' cannot be recog-
nized. The ice has turned to fire, the tranquil bearing to devour-
ing excitement; and he leads the onslaught with the fury of a
tiger, rushing on his prey." Thus the man who could not worship
a hero described Stonewall Jackson.
The author of this book, an ordnance officer in the Confed-
erate Army, though extravagant in his praise of Jackson, gave
what may be a classic estimate of Jackson as compared to other
great military men. Cooke preferred to estimate the General on
the basis of his own successes and the long funeral procession of
whipped Yankee generals who were sent to destroy him-Patter-
son, Banks, Shields, Fremont, McDowell, McClellan, Pope, Kear-
ney, and Burnside. All undertook the task of defeating Jack-
son, but all failed. Every lover of good descriptive literature and
every lover of books on the Confederacy will wish to read Cooke's
classic description of these failures against Jackson.
This book, among the finest bits of Confederate biographical
literature, is made more understandable by some clear, concise,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/570/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.