Judge William Lowther Jackson, of Parkersburg, was a brigadier general in the Confederate army, commanding the Nineteenth and Twentieth Virginia cavalries. The most fascinating aspect of this Civil War hero is the almost complete erasure of his name from most historical annals. On Our Own Soil hopes to change that by taking an honest and unbiased look at the life, career, and character of William Jackson.
Jackson led the first Confederate regiment in northwestern Virginia, defending the South’s western front with only a few companies of inexperienced volunteers. He later served on his well-known cousin Stonewall’s staff. During the last year of the war, Jackson’s troops bravely defended the Shenandoah Valley. Poor communication, miserable conditions, and unending foot travel continually challenged Jackson, but he persevered throughout.
After the war, Jackson was run out of Parkersburg, and exiled to Kentucky. The little surviving history of his units labels them as misfits, outlaws and horse thieves. Yet when Civil War records are examined, Jackson’s units are found to have performed efficiently in every campaign in which they participated. Many Confederate leaders revered Jackson. The question is: Why did West Virginia reject William L. Jackson? A reading of On Our Own Soil will hopefully help elevate Jackson to his rightful place in history as a loyal public servant and judicious leader.