Mystery, mystery is the secret to success. – Thomas L. “Stonewall” Jackson
My ancestors fought in the Civil War for the Virginia (West Virginia) Volunteers, who represented the North and got their asses kicked up and down the Shenandoah Valley by the crafty, unpredictable tactician, rebel holy man and poster-boy for the lost cause, Stonewall Jackson, here mockingly deified in Christ-pose with a heart of lemon (which was his favorite snack, and I reckon hard to come by), and the red robe, wings and halo customarily assigned to saints in such situations. Those on the losing end of this futile rebellion actually thought that highly of him. Many of his fans still make that mistake, after 150 years.
The eyesore known as the battle flag of the secession states is subtly suggested in the faded, stonewall-like clouds in the sky. Stonewall’s missing button is a reference to a tale in which one was removed by him as a souvenir for a child.
Jackson was killed by friendly fire (yeah, real fucking friendly) about halfway through the war, at the Battle of Chancellorsville, which he won for Lee through a staggering example of creative generalship. His army of 14,000 tiptoed around Hooker’s camps at night, undetected, and undertook the mother of all panty raids. Jackson’s arm was buried near there, but the rest of him was buried near his home in Lexington, Virginia. His horse Sorrel is stuffed and on display at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) museum, for inspection by anyone interested in 19th century taxidermy.