Stonewall Jackson's Mother Historical Marker
Backstory and Context
Julia Neal was born on February 28th, 1798 in Loudon County, Virginia. In 1817 Julia Neal married Jonathan Jackson, who was originally from Randolph County. The couple settled in Clarksburg and had two children prior to the arrival of Thomas Jonathan Jackson on January 21, 1824. Like many other families in the antebellum period, tragedy struck the young family two years later when Julia's daughter Elizabeth and her husband perished from typhoid fever.
In 1830, Julia married Blake Baker Woodson, the attorney for Fayette County. Records indicate that Blake Woodson "was not fond of his stepchildren" and as a result, Thomas and his siblings were sent to live with her relatives. Julia bore three more children before dying from complications related to childbirth on December 4th, 1831. Neighbors created a homemade coffin for Julia and marked her grave with only a small piece of wood.
In 1855 Thomas Jackson attempted to visit his mother's grave. The night before visiting the grave he had stayed at Tyree's Tavern, less than a quarter mile from her grave, before setting out to see her final resting place. The tavern's owner, William Tyree accompanied him to her resting place. However, the piece of wood used to mark her grave was missing and he was unable to determine her final resting spot. Sometime after this, Captain Thomas Ranson, a former solider of Stonewall, visited Westlake Cemetery. He reportedly devoted considerable effort to locate the final resting place of Julia Jackson and purchased a stone marker.