Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson were native Virginians, having served great nation and Commonwealth as educators, leaders, and military strategists. Lee served in the United States Army for more than three decades until he left his position to serve as Commander in Chief of Virginia’s military forces and as Commander of the Army of northern Virginia. Jackson taught philosophy and military tactics as a professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington for nearly a decade before serving briefly in the United States Army and later joining the Confederate Army to fight for his native Virginia.
Lee dedicated his life after the Civil War to reforming higher education in the South by serving as President of Washington College, now Washington & Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, where he helped to greatly increase the school’s funding and expanding the curriculum to create an atmosphere most conductive to learning for young men of both Southern and Northern heritage. Jackson’s leadership and bravery enabled him to rally his troops to several improbable victories against opposition forces much larger than his own, and Jackson’s inspired "Stonewall Brigade" fought alongside General Lee’s troops toward another victory even after their leader was fatally wounded on the second day of the Battle of Chancellorsville, it is fitting to recognize Generals Lee and Jackson as two of our nation’s most notable military strategists, as beloved leaders among their troops, as pioneers in the field of higher education and as faithful and dedicated Virginians.
(Proclamation, Lee-Jackson Day. 1/17/2014)
Lee-Jackson Day is a legal holiday in Virginia, observed on the Friday preceding the third Monday in January.
In 2020 Lee-Jackson Day in Virginia in USA falls on January 17.