The Life of General Thomas J. Jackson

General-Thomas-J-Jackson“Mrs. Jackson arrived today, and nursed him faithfully to the end. . . . The general’s joy at the presence of his wife and child was very great, and for him unusually demonstrative.” After recovering from the effects of chloroform, General Jackson asked Lieutenant Smith whether he said anything when under its power, and he continued : “I have always thought it wrong to administer chloroform where there is a probability of immediate death. But it was, I think, the most delightful physical sensation I ever enjoyed. I had enough consciousness to know what was doing; and at one time thought I heard the most delightful music that ever greeted my ears. I believe it was the sawing of the bone. But I should dislike, above all things, to enter eternity in such a condition.”

He afterwards said to other friends,” What an inestimable blessing is chloroform to the sufferer!” After the operation, when Mr. Lacy was admitted to the tent, he exclaimed with deep feeling, “Oh, general, what a calamity!” General Jackson, with his accustomed politeness, first thanked him for his sympathy, and then said : “You see me severely wounded, but not depressed; not unhappy. I believe it has been done according to God’s holy will, and I acquiesce entirely in it. You may think it strange; but you never saw me more perfectly contented than I am today; for I am sure that my Heavenly Father designs this affliction for my good. I am perfectly satisfied that, either in this life, or in that which is to come, I shall discover that what is now regarded as a calamity is a blessing. And if it appears a great calamity, as it surely will be a great inconvenience, to be deprived of my arm, it will result in a great blessing. I can wait until God, in His own time, shall make known to me the object He has in thus afflicting me. But why should I not rather rejoice in it as a blessing, and not look on it as a calamity at all? If it were in my power to replace my arm, I would not dare to do it, unless I could know it was the will of my Heavenly Father.”

In the course of this conversation he stated that, when he fell from the litter, he thought he should die upon the field, and gave himself up into the hands of God, without a fear, and in the possession of perfect peace.” It has been,” he said, “a precious experience to me, that I was brought face to face with death, and found all was well. I then learned an important lesson, that one who has been the subject of converting grace, and is the child of God, can, in the midst of the severest sufferings, fix the thoughts upon God and heavenly things, and derive great comfort and peace; but that one who had never made his peace with God would be unable to control his mind, under such sufferings, so as to understand properly the way of salvation, and repent and believe on Christ. I felt that if I had neglected the salvation of my soul before, it would have been too late then.” Life of General Thomas J Jackson 1891