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 Little Sorrel

Little Sorrel

Birth
Somers, Tolland County, Connecticut, USA
Death 1886 (aged 35–36)
Virginia, USA
Burial Lexington, Lexington City, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 2247 · View Source
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Warhorse - This horse was captured from Union forces at Harpers Ferry by the Confederates and was given to Mrs Jackson the wife of General Thomas Jackson and named "Fancy." However, a much larger horse used by the General known as "Big Sorrel" proved unreliable in battle being terrified of gunfire. He commandeered the steed and conscripted him for his own use. The animal became known as "Little Sorrel." General Jackson was tagged with his nickname "Stonewall" at First Manassas/Bull Run when he sat on Little Sorrel "like a stone wall" during a heavy Union onslaught. Then- tragedy struck, as he rode his steed assessing the battle at Chancellorsville. Confusion during the hotly contested battle, led to his being mistaken as a Yankee by his own men who shot him from the saddle. He fell to the ground mortally wounded. Surgeons amputated his badly wounded left arm which was later buried in the nearby Ellwood family cemetery near Spotsylvania, Virginia. His condition deteriorated rapidly succumbing from his wounds a day later. The body was brought to Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia by packet boat. Cadets met carried the remains to his old classroom where it lay it state. The cadet battery fired salutes from sunrise to sunset until burial in the family plot at Lexington Cemetery. He was disinterred later and re buried beneath a statue of him in the cemetery center which was also renamed for him. The horse became famous and revered after the war. At first the animal was pastured at Mrs Jackson's home in North Carolina but later became the mascot at the Virginia Military Institute where the General had taught cadets he led into battle. Many Southern States clamored to see the horse and he became a celebrity appearing at hundreds of fairs and exhibitions. Finally infirmed and barely able to navigate, Little Sorrel was relegated to the Confederate Soldier's Home for board and care. A hoist used to lift him to his feet slipped and he fell breaking his back. He was euthanasia at age 36. His remains minus his hide were eventually buried on the parade grounds at V.M.I. The hide was stretched over a likeness and displayed in a standing position in a museum at the Veterans Home until 1949 when it was finally returned to V.M.I. The Museum today is a major repository of artifacts relating to Jackson. His favorite hat, two uniforms, the raincoat he was wearing when shot and many items from the classroom he used while on the staff as well as his trusty steed "Little Sorrel."

Bio by: Find A Grave


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2247
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Little Sorrel (1850–1886), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2247, citing Virginia Military Institute Museum, Lexington, Lexington City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .