In Jackson and Little Sorrel, I wanted to depict the resolute Jackson sitting proud on his little rough horse. I wanted to capture just a hint of the subtle genuine character of the affection between the two, man and horse.
Little Sorrel was nobody's pretty pony. An undersized, dumpy, homely little horse, he was also the favorite mount of Confederate hero-general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, who appreciated the chunky charger for his toughness, smooth gate, and intelligence. Little Sorrel was beloved in Dixie, particularly with Southern ladies who would clip hairs from his mane and tail to make wristlets and rings. General Jackson was killed by friendly fire after trouncing the Yankees at Chancellorsville. In the chaos that followed, Little Sorrel was captured, then recaptured, then re-recaptured, then graciously allowed to return to the Confederacy for keeps. For the next 20 years Little Sorrel was a hit at Southern fairs and Rebel reunions, even making a trip to the New Orleans World's Fair in 1885. His health deteriorated quickly afterward and he spent his last few months at a Richmond old soldiers’ home.