Jubal Anderson Early
(From the Confederate Military History)
Lieutenant-General Jubal Anderson Early was born in Franklin county, Virginia, November 3, 1816. He was graduated from the United States military academy in 1837, and was promoted first-lieutenant of artillery in 1838, but resigned and began the practice of law in Virginia. He satin the State legislature in 1841-2 and was commonwealth attorney from 1842 to 1852, except during 1847-8, when he served in the Mexican war in the rank of major of the Virginia volunteers. In 1861 he was a member of the Virginia convention called to determine the true position of the State in the impending conflict, and at first earnestly opposed secession, but was soon aroused by the aggressive movements of the Federal government to draw his sword for the defense of his native State and the Confederate cause. He was commissioned colonel of the Twenty-fourth regiment of Virginia infantry, and with this rank commanded a brigade at Blackburn's Ford and Manassas, in the latter battle making a successful onslaught upon the Federal right in flank which aided in precipitating the rout which immediately followed. He was promoted brigadier-general to date from that battle. At Williamsburg he led the charge of his brigade upon the Federal position, and was wounded. In the Manassas campaign of 1862 he commanded a brigade of Ewell's division of Jackson's corps, participating in Jackson's raid around Pope and the defeat of the Federal army in the final engagement. In the Maryland campaign and at Sharpsburg after the wounding of General Lawton, he took command of Ewell's division, and also skillfully directed it at a critical moment against the Federal attack at Fredericksburg. In January, 1863, he was promoted major-general, and during the Chancellorsville campaign was left with his division and Barksdale's brigade, about ten thousand men, to hold the heights of Fredericksburg, where he made a gallant fight against Sedgwick's corps. At the opening of the Pennsylvania campaign he was entrusted by Ewell with the attack upon Winchester, which resulted in the rout of Milroy and the capture of 4,000 prisoners, and thence he marched via York, toward Harrisburg, Pa., until recalled from the Susquehanna river which he had reached, to the field of Gettysburg, where he actively participated in the successes of the first day's fighting and on the second day made a desperate assault on the Federals, gaining vantage ground which he was unable to hold single-handed. At the opening fight in the Wilderness, in temporary command of Hill's corps, he successfully resisted the Federal attempt to flank the army of Lee, and at Spottsylvania Court House in the same command he met and defeated Burnside. Again he struck that commander an effective blow at Bethesda church in the movement to Cold Harbor, and after the battle of the latter name he made two attacks upon Grant's right flank. Early was then commissioned lieutenant-general, May 31st, and soon afterward detached upon the important duty of defending the Confederate rear threatened by Hunter at Lynchburg. He promptly drove Hunter into the mountains and then marched rapidly down the Shenandoah valley, crossed into Maryland, defeated Wallace at Monocacy, and with a force reduced to about 8,000 men, was about to assault the defenses at Washington when the city was reinforced by two corps of Federal troops. Retiring safely into Virginia, he was on active duty in the valley in order to injure the Federal communications and keep as large a force as possible from Grant's army. Finally Sheridan was sent against him with an overwhelming force, against which Early made a heroic and brilliant resistance at Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek. He then established his army at New Market, and after Sheridan had retired from the valley he fell back to Staunton. When the army was surrendered he rode horseback to Texas, hoping to find a Confederate force still holding out, thence proceeded to Mexico, and from there sailed to Canada Subsequently returning to Virginia he resumed his law practice for a time, but in his later years lived mostly at New Orleans. He died at Lynchburg, Va., March 2, 1894.
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