James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

May 10

Stonewall Jackson

By Herman Melville (1819–1891)

  • Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own men while reconnoitring at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. He died on May 10.

  • THE MAN who fiercest charged in fight,

    Whose sword and prayer were long—


    Even him who stoutly stood for Wrong,

    How can we praise? Yet coming days

    Shall not forget him with this song.

    Dead is the Man whose Cause is dead,

    Vainly he died and set his seal—


    Earnest in error, as we feel;

    True to the thing he deemed was due,

    True as John Brown or steel.

    Relentlessly he routed us;

    But we relent, for he is low—


    Justly his fame we outlaw; so

    We drop a tear on the bold Virginian’s bier,

    Because no wreath we owe.