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Monday, January 19, 2015

The Bell Witch and "Stonewall" Jackson

One of the things that confounds the average researcher of The Bell Witch of Tennessee is all the lore surrounding it, some of which is completely made-up. A good example is the story regarding The Bell Witch and President Andrew "Stonewall" Jackson.

As the story goes, Andrew Jackson visited the Bell family during the time of the Daemonic infestation to bear witness. Upon his arrival by carriage, the horses stopped without warning and refused to go any further despite all attempts to persuade them. This happened three times before Old Kate was said to have been heard, saying, "Alright, you may pass." In some versions of the story, The Bell Witch compliments Jackson on his persistence or any number of distinguishing traits; in others, she says he is destined for great things; and so on.

The truth is a bit more historical: Andrew Jackson got his nickname for a Civil War battle in which he lead forces defending a literal stone wall against which his enemies sent no fewer than three battalions (I do not know military numbers, so that may be incorrect) to topple, all of which failed. Jackson was even said to have pitied the men and admired their persistence.

Andrew Jackson went on to become the seventh President of the United States.

© The Weirding, 2015

1 comment:

  1. You're getting your Jacksons mixed up. Thonmas "Stonewall" Jackson fell at the battle of Chancellorsville in the Civil War, and was a general for the Confederacy (as well as Lee's right-hand man). He wasn't likely born when the Bell Witch was in Tennessee in the early 19th century. He got his nickname because Lee pointed to Jackson as an example of courage and said, "There stands Jackson like a Stone Wall". Andrew Jackson was the former president and hero of the battle of New Orleans (1815), and it wouldn't have been suprising if he ran into the Bell Witch and impressed her! :) Andrew Jackson's nickname was "old hickory".