Margaret Junkin Preston was the sister of Elinore Junkin Jackson, the first wife of Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson. Elinore met Jackson while he was a professor of natural and experimental philosophy and artillery tactics at the Virginia Military Institute and married him in August of 1853.
The newlyweds set up housekeeping with Elinore's family on the campus of Washington College, where Elinore and Margaret's father, the Rev. Dr. George Junkin, was president. Margaret formed an immediate attachment to her sister's new husband and remained close to him even after Elinore died in childbirth 14 months later. (James Robertson's 1997 biography of Jackson goes so far as to suggest that Margaret and Jackson were actually in love but were prevented from marrying by Victorian social strictures.) Margaret eventually married a VMI professor, J.L.T. Preston, in 1857, the same year that Jackson entered into his second marriage with Mary Anna Morrison.
When the War Between the States broke out, Dr. Junkin , a staunch Unionist, left Lexington and returned to his former home up north. Margaret remained loyal to the Southern cause and stayed with her husband in Lexington. She went on to achieve some postwar reknown as a poet and has been anthologized in several early 20th century collections of Southern poetry.
"The Shade of the Trees" || "A Grave in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond" || "The Bivouac in the Snow" || "Dirge for Ashby" || "Only a Private" || "Acceptation"
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Last modified 16-April-2001