Sadly, next to nothing is known about the man Jim Lewis, his family or his dates of birth and death. I have not found him on the Rockbridge Co., Virginia census for 1860-1880.
Jim Lewis served in General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's famous Stonewall Brigade. He was General Jackson's personal manservant and cook. He was a black man (African-American) and he was a slave at the time, belonging to another. Jim was basically, leased out by his owner to General Jackson, for a price as was commonly done at this time. He spent time with General Jackson in his final moments. To show his importance, Lewis was chosen to be among those leading the procession of General Jackson's funeral. After Jackson's funeral, Jim continued in service, now to Colonel Alexander S. Pendleton (1840 - 1864) in the Stonewall Brigade.
"In December 1875, an anonymous Confederate veteran wrote to the local paper dismayed over the fact that Jim Lewis "lies in a neglected grave in the Colored Cemetery at Lexington without a stone." Also, according to a recent editorial by local newspaper editor Doug Harwood, when Stonewall Jackson's statue was being erected in 1891, "an Englishman offered to pay for a monument to mark the grave of one of his slaves [Jim Lewis]. The town ignored his offer." The entire sad but eye opening article was in the Washington Times on September 29, 2007, titled "Black Cemetery Doubt Remains" by Richard G. Williams Jr. Mr Williams is a Civil War historian, author and frequent contributor to this page. It is available at the following URL:http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...doubt-remains/
After the original colored cemetery was closed, the re-interment of his remains, was here at the Evergreen Cemetery. To my knowledge, he still does not have a gravestone. A horrible oversight. In 2011, Findagrave photographer, Carl Weaver personally made an inspection of this cemetery and could not find a marker or headstone for Jim.
In 1866, artist John Buttre, made an engraving called "Prayer in Stonewall Jackson's Camp" that portrays a young looking Jim Lewis sitting beside a tree, on the left side, in the back. See photo.
In 2003, Jim Lewis' character is portrayed by actor Frankie Faison, in the publicly well received movie, Gods and Generals.
In 6-2011, I found some interesting tidbits on Civil War Talk on Jim Lewis, Stonewall Jackson's servant: , such as:
1) Donna wrote: Mrs Jackson wrote "it was touching to see the genuine grief of his servant, Jim, who nursed him faithfully to the end". I read that Jim Lewis started with the Army and served Colonel Sandie Pendleton at Gettysburg and after until Pendleton's death at Fisher's Hill in 1864."
2)Diane wrote: "He was extremely devoted to Jackson, who was surprisingly deferential to him, and was with him when he died - he was so heart-broken some were afraid he'd die, too. However, he went on with Sandie Pendleton, with the same devotion, and was equally crushed when Pendleton died."
"Jim Lewis may have been a pupil of Jackson's black Sunday school and seems to have offered his services to Jackson with the permission of his unknown owner. He sure knew the general backwards and forwards! One day he astounded Jackson's staff by having packed all the general's things and saddled Little Sorrel. Shortly, the general ordered a surprise move from camp. The aides asked Lewis how he knew the general planned to move? Lewis replied when the general got down on his knees, he knew he'd better start packing things!"
God bless Jim and his strength.
Created by: LSP
Record added: Mar 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66936178
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Let us never forget our past, so that we may still learn from it. God Bless!|
Added: Dec. 27, 2014
Rest In Peace|
Added: Jun. 10, 2014
Rest in peace.|
Added: Jun. 30, 2011
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