Full Moon May Be to Blame for Civil War General’s Death
Two researchers have proposed an interesting theory that a full moon was responsible for the friendly fire shooting incident of General “Stonewall” Jackson who eventually died from complications stemming from being shot in the arm by his own men. In fact, the loss of General Jackson may well have turned the course of the entire war effort.
In the spring of 1863, generals Robert E. Lee and Jackson were fighting the Union army at Chancellorsville, Virginia. General Jackson rode off along with several of his officers to scout a path to out flank the Union soldiers. Upon his return, men of the 18th Regiment of North Carolina (Jackson’s regiment) accidentally mistook Jackson for a Union soldier and fired upon him striking him the arm.
The injury led to the amputation of the arm and Jackson subsequently lost his life weeks later.
The researchers have created an elaborate model to support their claim that it was the bright moon light which obfuscated the view of Jackson’s own men leading to the friendly fire incident. The Confederates won the battle and marched onto Gettysburg where their forces were turned back in the worst fighting of the war.
Perhaps the outcome would have been different had General Lee been able to make use of the leadership of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson.