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Military Tactics: The Stonewall Jackson Quiz
by Staff
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was deeply religious, committed to the Confederacy and, frankly, kind of a strange guy. Still, he was brilliant on a battlefield. How much do you know about his tactics?

At what battle did Jackson earn his "Stonewall" nickname?

  • Gettysburg
  • Chancellorsville
  • First Bull Run

What did Jackson to do earn the name?

  • charged up a long slope and took a Union-held stone wall
  • held his position at the crest of a hill
  • refused a tactically unsound order from a higher ranking officer

Jackson's most famous series of victories is known as what?

  • the Richmond Defense
  • the March to the Sea
  • the Valley Campaign

What valley did it take place in?

  • Shenandoah
  • Tennessee River
  • Susquehanna

What was the Confederate objective in the Valley Campaign?

  • to delay and distract Union troops that were threatening the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia
  • to split the Union army so each half could be fought and defeated separately
  • to maintain control of the Shenandoah Valley

At the First Battle of Kernstown, Jackson boldly attacked a much larger Union army and lost. Why did he attack so aggressively?

  • He believed the Union army was in the process of withdrawing from the valley and that he'd be fighting fewer troops than were actually present.
  • He was overcome with religious fervor and demanded the attack in the name of God.
  • He believed superior Confederate guns would give his troops an advantage.

Why was the loss at Kernstown actually of great benefit to Jackson?

  • The people of Kernstown gave the Confederates supplies.
  • He gained good reconnaissance of the surrounding area.
  • The aggressiveness of the attack made the Union think he had more troops than he did, leading them to be more tentative throughout the rest of the campaign.

What military principle did Jackson rely on in the Valley Campaign?

  • overwhelming numbers
  • deception and surprise
  • the double envelopment

Jackson left the valley after Kernstown, then surprised the Union by doing what?

  • taking up defensive positions on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia
  • leaving his artillery behind so he could travel more quickly
  • bringing his troops quickly back to the valley by train

Jackson next pushed north. How did he surprise the Union this time?

  • He moved his army over mountains into an unexpected part of the valley, emerging partly behind the main Union force.
  • He clothed his troops in Union uniforms.
  • He marched his army only at night.

After chasing federal troops out of Middletown, Virginia, Jackson wanted to do what, following another military principle he adhered to?

  • chase the retreating army and inflict as much damage to them as possible
  • consolidate his forces and take up strong positions
  • split his forces, sending half to outflank the retreating enemy

At this point, Jackson had effectively diverted the Union armies away from Richmond, Virginia. The Union sent three columns to outflank and defeat Jackson in the valley. Instead of fleeing, Jackson chose to make a stand at Port Republic. Why did he choose that location?

  • He could use the river there to divide the Union forces into smaller parts, which he could then fight successively instead of all at once.
  • He could position his troops in the mountains and fire down on Union troops, wearing down their numbers at little risk of being overrun.
  • The town was the location of an armory that he could not allow to fall into Union control.

How far did Jackson's troops march during the 30 days of the Valley Campaign?

  • 100 miles (161 kilometers)
  • 200 miles
  • 350 miles

At the Seven Days Battles, Jackson made several tactical mistakes. Why did he perform so poorly?

  • He was protesting what he perceived as unfair treatment of his men by Gen. Lee.
  • He'd been kicked by a horse near the end of the Valley Campaign and may have had a concussion.
  • He was exhausted from lack of sleep and hard travel from the Shenandoah Valley to Mechanicsville, Virginia.

In general terms (pun kind of intended), what was Jackson's style as a battlefield general?

  • driven by a strange and unquenchable rage
  • methodical and cautious
  • daring and aggressive

At the Second Battle of Bull Run, Jackson maneuvered behind the Union army and did what?

  • destroyed all their supplies
  • launched a massive flanking attack
  • completely encircled the Union army

Why was Jackson sent to capture Harper's Ferry by Gen. Lee?

  • Harper's Ferry held a symbolic significance to the Confederacy.
  • Harper's Ferry guarded the approach to Baltimore and was strategically necessary.
  • The Confederates were invading Maryland, and the Union troops at Harper's Ferry threatened the Confederate rear as well as their supply lines.

How did Jackson arrange his troops when they reached Harper's Ferry?

  • He created a "V" shape that concentrated fire on Union batteries.
  • He had them effectively surround the town, placing troops on ridges overlooking it from three different directions.
  • He sent a column straight into town, making a surprise morning attack.

How did Jackson attack Harper's Ferry at first?

  • He destroyed the bridges leading into the town and settled in for a long siege.
  • He attempted to dislodge the Union force with a five-hour artillery barrage.
  • He had a small group of soldiers sneak into the town at night.

Jackson had to hurry his assault on Harper's Ferry. Why?

  • Union Gen. George McClellan found one of Lee's written orders explaining the plan to take Harper's Ferry and sent troops to disrupt the attack.
  • Autumn rain was soon going to make the area around the town impassable due to mud.
  • The main body of the Confederate army was desperately in need of the supplies being held there.

What geographic advantages did the Union defensive position have at Harper's Ferry?

  • They held high ground that would be difficult to assault, and their flanks were guarded by rivers.
  • Large, rocky outcroppings formed a sort of natural fortress.
  • The area was heavily forested.

How did Jackson accomplish the attack despite the tough defensive position?

  • He moved his troops quickly in the middle of the night, unexpectedly outflanking the Union position.
  • He made a bold frontal assault, knowing it would be costly but necessary.
  • He pretended to retreat, drawing Union troops out of their defensive positions to chase them.

At what bloody battle did Jackson play a primarily defensive role, holding one end of the Confederate line against the Union attack?

  • Antietam
  • Mill Springs
  • Shiloh

At Chancellorsville, Lee sent Jackson to do what?

  • aggressively outflank the Union army
  • scout the surrounding area and disrupt Union supply lines if possible
  • battle the Union cavalry

Did Jackson successfully accomplish the bold flanking movement as ordered?

  • No, he was delayed by the harsh terrain.
  • He made the maneuver but lost many of his troops in the ensuing fight.
  • Of course he did.

What did Jackson's scouts find when they approached the Union position?

  • A deep ravine was protecting that side of the Union flank.
  • The Union troops were completely unaware, unready and unguarded by artillery.
  • A small Union detachment had turned to face the flanking maneuver.

How did the ensuing attack go for Jackson?

  • The Union troops suffered terrible loses but rallied and held their position.
  • He utterly defeated that portion of the Union forces, sending them into a chaotic rout.
  • He attacked too slowly, allowing the Union forces to withdraw and reorganize at a better position.

What did Jackson attempt to do immediately following that attack?

  • march through the night so he could attack in the morning from an unexpected position
  • attack the remnants of the Union line in the middle of the night
  • withdraw and take up a defensive position

What happened to Jackson while scouting for this dark-of-night attack?

  • He was shot by his own troops, who mistook his scouting party for the enemy.
  • He was captured by Union guards.
  • He fell from his horse in the darkness and was severely injured.

Jackson was often following Robert E. Lee's orders in battle. What was the nature of their professional relationship that showed Jackson's tactical skill even while subordinate to another general?

  • Jackson was able to precisely follow Lee's orders.
  • Lee could give Jackson a very general "end state" order, and Jackson was able to interpret it and make the correct tactical decisions to make it happen.
  • Jackson wasn't afraid to question Lee's orders and revise them on the fly.