About this episode:
His journey had been nothing short of remarkable. From an orphan from western Virginia to matriculation to West Point where, there, along the banks of the Hudson, he had been an Immortal - placed in the weakest academic section. And yet, he willed himself to graduate 17th out of 59 in the talented Class of 1846 - a class that produced twenty generals. From there, he found confidence and promotion in Mexico, but thanks to a contentious relationship with a post commander in Tampa, he resigned his military commission as an officer and accepted an opportunity to teach at VMI. Eccentric and demanding, his single-mindedness made him an unpopular professor. However, that same trait propelled him to successful command in the coming civil war.
At Manassas, his brigade helped to turn the tide of battle and earned him a nickname, perhaps, the most famous in American military history, but his eccentric behavior and aggressiveness concerned some in Richmond. Not enough, however, to keep him from independent command when the CSA capital was threatened in the spring of 1862. It was then, all those traits - single-mindedness, aggressiveness, a propensity for secrecy - came together, and he successfully designed and carried out one of the most masterful campaigns in military history. By late spring, his Shenandoah Valley Campaign - despite his oddities, his demand for discipline and dour personality - elevated him to such stature that he may well have been the most well-known CSA general and, for the North, the most feared. Indeed, his journey thus far had been quite amazing. And now, we continue the story of the man known as "Stonewall."