Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees – General “Stonewall” Jackson


Oil Painting of General “Stonewall” Jackson, 26 April 1863

‘Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks—’ then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, ‘Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.’

I first came across these words when I was a student studying Business Administration and used to read a lot of Hemingway. In one of my favorite Hemingway book “Across the River and into the Trees”, near the end of the book, the main character quotes General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Stonewall Jackson was friend and trusted commander of General Robert E. Lee. The quote has remained burned in my memory ever since I first read it.

Here is my small tribute to those precious words, an oil painting based on the Wikimedia Commons reference image of General Jackson’s “Chancellorsville” Portrait, taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863, seven days before his mortal wounding at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

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