A Sick Joke


Southerners will love or hate this cartoon, but you Yankees probably won’t quite understand it unless you know the story of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. He got his nickname in the first Battle of Bull Run in 1861 when one of his generals said, “Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall.”

But at the battle of Chancellorsville in 1863, he was accidentally shot three times in the left arm by his own Confederate troops, what today we call friendly fire. Unable to save the shattered arm, a surgeon amputated it. A company chaplain took the severed arm to his family’s nearby farm, gave it a traditional Christian service and buried it in the cold, cold ground. The farm still stands; I’ve visited it.

Jackson seemed to be recovering, but died of pneumonia May 10, 1863. Over the years, the arm was supposedly dug up and re-buried several times and there’s no proof that it’s still at the farm, but a Civil War-era gravestone marks the spot.

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© BOB ENGLEHART 2018 | All Rights Reserved.

Editorial and political cartoons by Bob Englehart