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On the morning of July 19,1861, near Paris, Virginia, Confederate Brigadier General Thomas, J. Jackson standing by his horse "Little Sorrel". He knew that in order to get the First Brigade of the Army of the Shenandoah to Manassas by four o'clock he would need an early start.
Upon arriving at their bivouac at two in the morning, an aide asked if guards should be posted. The General replied "No let the poor fellows sleep, I will guard the camp myself." The previous day the Brigade had marched twenty-four miles from Winchester. The march, which was often conducted at a double-quick step, included wading the Shenandoah River and ascending the Blue Ridge Mountains at Ashby's Gap. The men had been inspired to march when General Jackson informed them that "Our gallant army under General Beauregard is going to be attacked by overwhelming numbers at Manassas and only a forced march will help save the country."
The movement of General Jackson's Brigade from Winchester to Manassas, a distance of sixty miles, was conducted without the knowledge of the Federal Army and with such speed that they were to be known as "The Foot Cavalry."
General Jackson and his Brigade did arrive at Manassas at four o'clock on July 19, 1861 and participated in the first major battle of America's Civil War on July 21, 1861. During the battle General Jackson displayed such courage and tenacity that he acquired the enduring nickname "STONEWALL."