|2007 Christmas Special|
by John Paul Strain
|Title: Christmas Blessing
General Stonewall Jackson
Martinsburg, VA Winter of 1862
Artist: John Paul Strain
Image Size: 19 1/2" x 23 1/2"
Overall Size: 24" x 27 1/2"
800 s/n Limited Edition
80 s/n Artist Proofs
|Reproduction Technique: Fine Offset Lithography
Printed on 150# dull-coated art reproduction cover that is archival quality and neutral pH, using premium fade-resistant inks.
During the late months of 1862 General Thomas J. Jackson had already developed a wonderful reputation as a great leader for the southern armies. He was also known as a man of strong religious beliefs, and admired not only for his victories on the battlefield but also for his love for the Lord.
Some members of the army worried that Stonewall's religious fervor might cloud his judgment at times, but many others had faith the great General would be guided and helped in his endeavors by the Almighty. When asked how a servant of the Lord could lead men into battle where thousands of men would be killed, the General replied, "It is the duty of his men to fight and pray." Stonewall was a strict observer of the Sabbath, and would never mail a letter that would be in transit on a Sunday. And yet so many of his battles were fought on Sundays, the soldiers believed that on that day he would have more guidance from the Almighty.
In the vicinity of Martinsburg, General Jackson was directing his men to tear up as much of the B&O Railroad as possible. While he and his staff were making a reconnaissance of enemy positions, a beautiful young woman who had heard of the General's presence, ran out to meet him carrying her 18-month-old child. The young mother then handed the child up to the General and asked him to bless it for her. As the young woman placed her hand on Little Sorrel and bowed her head, the two joined in prayer as the Great Stonewall Jackson gave a Christmas blessing.