Author: Christopher M. Calkins


Fletcher H. Archer (1817–1902)

Fletcher H. Archer was a Confederate army officer and Petersburg mayor. After earning a law degree from the University of Virginia and practicing law in his native Petersburg, Archer led a company of Virginia volunteers during the Mexican War (1846–1848). During the American Civil War (1861–1865), he served in the infantry and at the Norfolk Naval Hospital before retiring back to his Petersburg law practice. In 1864, however, with Union general-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant‘s Army of the Potomac moving south, Archer raised a battalion of Virginia Reserves—composed mostly of men either too young or old for regular duty—and, on June 9, helped to successfully defend the city at the Battle of Old Men and Young Boys. After the war, Archer joined the Conservative Party and, as president of the Petersburg City Council, became mayor in 1882 when William E. Cameron, the previous mayor, became governor. Archer served until 1883, and died in Petersburg in 1902.

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