Friday, December 13, 2013

Advanced Even After His Loss

Union Brigadier General Conrad Feger Jackson was killed in action December 13th 1862 during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Conrad Feger Jackson was born in Alsace Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, September 11th 1813 the son of Isaac Jackson a part of a family of Quakers.  His father died when he was young and he was raised by an uncle; Joseph Jackson, in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Jackson started working in warehouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and then moved onto working as a conductor for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad.  During the Mexican American War, Jackson carried dispatches for General Winfield Scott.  He would settle after the war in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before moving in the late 1850’s to become the manager of an oil company in the Kanawha Valley area of Virginia.

When the Civil War started Jackson went back to Pittsburgh where he organized the 9th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry.  He received an appointment from Pennsylvania Governor Andrew G Curtin as the Colonel of the 9th, leading them with distinction during the Peninsula Campaign.  He was promoted July 17th 1862 to Brigadier General and placed in command of the 3rd Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves.  They would see action at Second Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam.

As the Union Army moved against the Confederates at Fredericksburg, Jackson led his Brigade against the right wing of the Confederates.  His Division commander Union General George G Meade wrote of their movement, “The Third brigade had not advanced over one hundred yards when the battery on the height on its left was re-manned, and poured a destructive fire into its ranks. Perceiving this, I dispatched my Aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Dehon, with orders for General Jackson to move by the right flank till he could clear the open ground in front of the battery, and then, ascending the height through the woods, sweep round to the left and take the battery. Unfortunately Lieutenant Dehon fell just as he reached General Jackson, and a short time after, the latter officer was killed. The regiments did, however, partially execute the movement by obliquing to the right, and advanced across the railroad, a portion ascending the heights in their front. The loss of their commander, and the severity of the fire, from both artillery and infantry, to which they were subjected, compelled them to withdraw."

Jackson was killed December 13th 1862.  His body was recovered from the field and taken back to Pittsburgh.  He is buried in the Allegheny Cemetery there.

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