CSA Generals
Written and/or edited by Michael Aubrecht, Copyright 2006

Recently, I completed a multi-fold brochure that will be used as a handout for the reenactment group Lee's Lieutenants' "Meet The Generals" program. Here are their subject's mini-biographies (more to come including A.P. Hill and NB Forrest.)



General Robert E. Lee
The son of Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee, a favorite general of George Washington, Robert Edward Lee entered The U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he finished 2nd in the class of 1829. In April of 1861, duty and his oath to the United States Constitution forced then Colonel Lee to refuse command of the army that was about to take the field against the seceding states. Shortly afterwards he accepted a general's position in the newly formed Confederate States Army where he served the first year as Senior Military Advisor to President Jefferson Davis. In June of 1862, he assumed command of the Army of Northern Virginia leading it to numerous victories for the next three years, in spite of the Union's overwhelming numbers and resources. In early April of 1865, it was obvious that continued fighting would result in needless effusion of blood. On April 9th, he met with the General U.S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse Virginia where he surrendered the once great army that had defended the Confederate States of America so valiantly. On October 1, 1865, he assumed the Presidency of Washington College where he continued until his death on October 12, 1870. Lee is still considered one of the greatest commanders in the history of warfare.




General Thomas Jackson
Thomas Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia. He entered West Point in July 1842 and, in spite of his poor childhood education, worked hard to finish 17th in his class in 1846. Following graduation, Jackson was sent to fight in the war against Mexico. In 1851, he became professor of artillery tactics and natural philosophy at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. Perhaps best known as "Stonewall", Jackson earned his nickname at the First Battle of Manassas, after refusing to withdraw his troops in the face of total carnage. Inspired by the bravery of his subordinate, General Bee immediately rallied the remnants of his own brigade while shouting "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall." Jackson later distinguished himself repeatedly in the Valley Campaign, Second Manassas, and the Battle of Fredericksburg. A fervent prayer warrior, Jackson's religious devotion was a constant in all facets of his life. On May 2, 1863, Jackson was wounded by friendly fire at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Despite surviving the amputation of his left arm, Jackson developed severe pneumonia and died several days later on May 10. His death was a severe setback for the Confederacy; General Lee stated, "He has lost his left arm; I have lost my right."




General James Longstreet
Referred to as "Lee's Old War Horse," James Longstreet received his appointment to West Point and graduated in 1842, 60th out of a class of 62. A few years later, he was one of several thousand troops involved in the conflict with Mexico. Following the war, Longstreet was reassigned to Albuquerque as a pay master where he stayed until he resigned his commission from the United States Army, and on the 1st of July 1861, he received has commission as a brigadier-general. He was assigned to Manassas Junction under the command of General Beauregard. From this point forward, James Longstreet was quickly promoted to major general and then lieutenant general. By the middle of 1862, he found himself under the command of General Robert E. Lee. A very brave but cautious commander, Longstreet remained one of the few high-ranking Confederate commanders to survive the war, although he was severely wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness, where his right arm was partially paralyzed. Through connections with the Republican Party, Longstreet obtained a number of governmental appointments after the South's surrender and spent the remaining years of his life near Gainesville, GA where he died on January 2, 1904.




General Jubal Early
Born on November 3, 1816 in Franklin County Virginia, Jubal Anderson Early was a diehard Unionist who fought tooth and nail to keep Virginia from seceding from the Union. Once the fighting started, he swiftly became one of the South's most hard hitting generals. He won high praise from "Stonewall" Jackson and Robert E. Lee, who came to count on his sound military judgment and his fighting spirit. As a general he was outspoken and opinionative-Lee referred to him as "My Bad Old Man". When Lee wanted to threaten Washington D.C. and take some of the pressure off the Army of Northern Virginia defending Richmond in 1864, it was Early whom he chose to lead an army down the Shenandoah Valley. Early got closer to the Union capital than any other Confederate general during four years of war, reaching the very gates of Washington itself. He fought and licked Phil Sheridan's far greater Union force in the Shenandoah Valley-only to experience disaster when Sheridan rallied his fleeing troops and smashed Early's forces. Confederate authorities lost confidence in him, and he rode southward, a beaten general. After Lee's surrender he left the country. In 1869, Early returned to Virginia, living and practicing law in Lynchburg, where he lived until his death on March 2, 1894.




General John B. Gordon
General Gordon was born February 6, 1832 in Upson County Georgia and for more than 40 years was one of the most celebrated citizens of Georgia. Gordon attended the University of Georgia but did not graduate. In 1854 he studied law in Atlanta and by the end of the year he passed his bar examination and was a partner in an established law firm. Shortly after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Gordon helped organize a rebel company of volunteers from Georgia and on May 15, 1861 the company mustered into Confederate service as part of the Sixth Alabama. General Gordon's brigade was in the thick of it at Sharpsburg. During this battle General Gordon was wounded five times once in the head. If it had not been for a whole in his hat, he would have drowned in his own blood. At Appomattox his men made the last charge of the Army of Northern VA. Gordon went on to a distinguished career in politics, serving as governor and senator and was active in veterans' affairs. During the last decade of his life, Gordon remained extremely active in his efforts to vindicate the South and at the same time to establish a new spirit of nationalism by embarking on a career as an author and lecturer. He died in Miami, Florida, January 9, 1904 and was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta.




General John Bell Hood
John B. Hood was born in Owingsville, Kentucky in 1831. He was the nephew of a U.S. Representative named Richard French, who obtained an appointment for him at the U.S. Military Academy where he graduated in 1853, ranked 44th in a class of 52. Upon leaving West Point, Hood was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th U.S. Infantry, and later transferred to the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Following the attack on Fort Sumter in 1862, Hood resigned his commission in the U. S. Army. Joining the newly formed Confederate Army, he was quickly promoted to lieutenant colonel. Serving in the Army of Northern Virginia over the next two years, he established himself as a brilliant tactician. He saw action at Seven Days, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg, where he lost the use of an arm. At the bloody Battle of Chickamauga, Hood was severely wounded again, this time losing a leg to amputation. Following his recovery, he was given a Corps commander position in the Army of Tennessee and became a key player in the Atlanta Campaign. After the war, he entered the cotton brokerage and insurance businesses in New Orleans. He died from Yellow Fever in 1879, leaving behind eleven children, including three sets of twins.




General Issac Trimble
At the outset of the War Between The States, Isaac Trimble was a 59-year -old Maryland railroader. Trimble was sympathetic to the South, but against secession. He was later forced south after Federal authorities issued arrest warrants due to his activities related to the burning of railroad bridges in defense of Baltimore. Trimble commanded the Seventh Brigade, in Ewell's Division, under Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson in the Valley Campaign, and was credited with the major role in the Confederate victory at the Battle of Cross Keys. Trimble continued under Jackson's command in the Seven Days, and Second Manassas campaigns, and led two of his regiments in the capture of Federal Gen. Pope's huge supply depot at Manassas Junction. Trimble was later wounded in the fighting at Brawner's Farm. Trimble returned to the Army of Northern Virginia in time for Gettysburg, where he first served as an advisor to Gen. Ewell's Second Corps. On July 3, Trimble commanded Pender's Division in support of Pettigrew's Division, forming the left wing of Pickett's Charge. During the battle he was again wounded, this time requiring the amputation of his leg, and he was captured by Union forces. Taken to a Federal prison camp, Trimble remained a POW until the end of the war. Despite his scars, he lived to the old age of 86, and died in 1888.




General George Pickett
George Pickett served under General James Longstreet during the Seven Days' Campaign and was wounded at Gaines' Mill. He also commanded a division at the victorious Battle of Fredericksburg. Unfortunately, Pickett's name in Civil War history was secured in a losing cause, the deadly charge against the Federal center on the third day at Gettysburg. Following bloody, but inconclusive movements 1-2 July, General Lee ordered the massive assault, which followed an intensive, but basically ineffectual cannonade. Under Pickett's command were the brigades of Generals Kemper, Garnett, and Armistead. At mid-afternoon the forward movement began with the troops dressed as if on parade as they marched into the Federal guns. Pickett, as division commander, attempted to coordinate the ill-fated movement and, contrary to the view of some critics, acquitted himself bravely and well. But the task was impossible, and he ordered his men to withdraw when clearly they could not break the Union center. He went on to fight in battles at New Berne, Petersburg, and Five Forks. Following the Army of Northern VA's surrender at Appomattox in 1865, he became an insurance salesman and later died in Norfolk in July of '75. Today, the field where "Pickett's Charge" took place remains the most Hallowed of ground.




General Lewis Armistead
Lewis Armistead was born on February 18, 1817 in North Carolina. After moving to Virginia, he was accepted to West Point in 1833 but tendered his resignation because of an illness that left him behind in his studies and an altercation with a classmate named Jubal Early. Lewis was later able to serve his country in the War with Mexico after being appointed to the 6th U.S. Infantry Regiment as a Second Lieutenant in 1839. Following the start of the Civil War, Armistead was appointed to the rank of Major in the Confederate Army. Soon after, he was appointed a Colonel and given command of the 57th Virginia Infantry. Eventually promoted to a general, Armistead served in the battles of Seven Pines, Seven Days, Sharpsburg, and the Suffolk Campaign. His most famous service came at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 when the remnants of Pickett's Division pierced the Union Line. Armistead crossed the wall at the Angle, his hat upon his sword, but he was then shot down. Badly wounded, he was captured by Federal soldiers and died. Ironically, Armistead's best friend, General Hancock was in command of the Union troops and he was also wounded in the assault. Armistead was buried at the Spangler Farm and later re-buried alongside his Uncle George, the defender of the original "Star Spangled Banner."




General Montgomery Dent Corse
Montgomery Dent Corse was born at Alexandria, D.C. on March 14, 1816. He began his education at Benjamin Hallowell's School. It was his first meeting with Robert Lee, who attended Hallowell's school before entering West Point. Corse completed his formal education at Major Bradley Lowe's military school. He witnessed Lafayette's 1825 Alexandria visit and also participated in President Andrew Jackson's 1829 inauguration. Dent went into business with his father and his brother and later served as a Virginia Militia Captain in the Mexican War. After the war, he sailed to California during the opening of the gold fields and was Captain of the Sacramento Sutter Rifles, until 1856. He then returned to Alexandria and the banking business where he assisted Robert E. Lee in settling the Custis estate. During the War Between The States, Corse served as the 17th Virginia's Colonel through the Battle of Sharpsburg. Corse was then promoted to brigadier general and assigned command of Pickett's former brigade. Corse's Brigade remained at Hanover Junction throughout the Gettysburg Campaign. He was captured by Federal forces at Saylor's Creek and narrowly escaped assassination by a mob en route to Fort Warren. Corse survived the war and died thirty years later on February 11, 1895.


General John Hunt Morgan
John Hunt Morgan was born in Huntsville, Alabama on June 1, 1825. After a frustrating stint at Transylvania University (a duel ended his short college career) he soon enlisted in the United States Army. He was promoted to first lieutenant and saw action during the Mexican War. Morgan joined the Confederacy and assumed his command in the autumn of 1861. By early 1862, he had earned a fierce reputation for his daring raids and was even being compared to the famous Revolutionary War guerrilla, Francis Marion. In the summer of 1863, he embarked on his most dangerous raid yet that would take him and his troopers deep into Indiana and Ohio, farther north than any other Southern force would advance in the course of the war. Unfortunately, Morgan and his men were captured and promptly sent to a maximum-security prison in Columbus, Ohio. After a few months, he and several of his officers escaped by tunneling out of the jail. By the summer of 1864, Morgan was reeling from accusations that he had been involved in the robbery of a civilian bank. On September 4, while hiding out at the home of a friend, the Federals mounted a surprise attack and Morgan was shot in the back while trying to escape. He died shortly after. Today, Morgan is considered one of the top cavalryman of the entire war.




General James Kemper
James Kemper was born and bred in Mountain Prospect, Virginia in 1823. Descended from a military family, his grandfather had served on the staff of George Washington during the American Revolution. Kemper graduated from Washington College in 1842, becoming a lawyer. After the start of the Mexican War, he enlisted and became a captain in the 1st Virginia Infantry and later a general in the Virginia Militia. He also served 3 terms as a Virginia legislator, rising to become the Speaker of the House of Delegates and the chairman of the Military Affairs Committee. After the start of the Civil War, he served as a brigadier general in the Provisional Army of Virginia, and then as a colonel in the Confederate States Army, commanding the 7th Virginia Infantry. His most famous action took place at the Battle of Gettysburg where he commanded a brigade in Pickett's division during it's legendary charge. While urging his men to push forward, Kemper was hit by a minié ball in the thigh. The wound was thought to be mortal, and he was left behind as and ultimately captured by Union troops. Kemper survived his wounds and after the war, he was elected Governor of Virginia in 1874. Following a most successful post-war political career, James Kemper died on April 7, 1895 at the ripe-old age of 71.


General J.E.B. Stuart
James Ewell Brown Stuart was born in Patrick County, Virginia on February 6, 1833. From 1848 to 1850, J.E.B. attended Emory and Henry College. In 1850, he entered the U.S. Military Academy. In the years that followed his graduation, Stuart received various commissions for exemplary service in Texas, Kansas, and Washington. Following the secession of his beloved home state of Virginia in 1861, Stuart resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and was appointed to serve as a cavalry commander under Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. According to General Robert E. Lee, Stuart was an ideal soldier; and because of his tremendous riding skills, and sharp instincts as an intelligence officer, he regarded him as the “eyes of the army.” Dramatic in his appearance, Stuart always rode a grand horse, lined his gray coat with red material, and wore his hat cocked to one side with a peacock’s plume splaying from it. On May 9, 1864, Federal cavalry headed for the Confederate capital to stage a siege of the city. It was during this battle on May 11, 1864 that J.E.B. Stuart was fatally wounded by a Federal trooper. He died the following day, and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.

 More To Come




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