Author: Graham Dozier

managing editor of publications at the Virginia Historical Society

Richard B. Garnett (1817–1863)

Richard B. Garnett was a Confederate general in the Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War (1861–1865). The first to take over the Stonewall Brigade after the promotion of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, Garnett was well-regarded by his men but ran afoul of Jackson after the Battle of Kernstown (1862), when he ordered an unauthorized retreat. Jackson placed him under arrest and eventually ordered, but never completed, a court-martial. Robert E. Lee reassigned Garnett to the command of George E. Pickett‘s former brigade, and he spent much of the following year worried about his reputation and looking for opportunities to demonstrate his courage. He found one on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg (1863), when he died while helping to lead the doomed assault known as Pickett’s Charge.


Crutchfield, Stapleton (1835–1865)

Stapleton Crutchfield was a professor of mathematics at the Virginia Military Institute and a Confederate artillery officer during the American Civil War (1861–1865). When the war began, Crutchfield served briefly as temporary superintendent of VMI before joining the Confederate army. He served in various Virginia infantry regiments before, in 1862, his friend Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, with whom he had taught at VMI, appointed Crutchfield his chief of artillery. He served under Jackson in all of the Army of Northern Virginia‘s major battles until, on May 2, 1863, he and Jackson were both wounded at Chancellorsville. Jackson died, while Crutchfield recovered, teaching again briefly at VMI before rejoining the army in January 1865 at Chaffin’s Bluff on the James River. Crutchfield was killed at the Battle of Sailor’s Creek during the Appomattox Campaign on April 6, 1865, just three days before Robert E. Lee‘s surrender.


Lewis A. Armistead (1817–1863)

Lewis A. Armistead was a Confederate general in the Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War (1861–1865). Decorated for bravery during the Mexican War (1846–1848), the West Point dropout and widower earned a reputation as a tough, soft-spoken, and highly respected leader at such battles as Seven Pines (1862), Antietam (1862), and Malvern Hill (1862), and was known to his friends, ironically, as “Lo,” short for Lothario. At Gettysburg, on July 3, 1863, he helped to lead the frontal assault that came to be known as Pickett’s Charge. When Armistead, at the head of his brigade, reached the stone wall on Cemetery Ridge that protected the Army of the Potomac‘s Second Corps, he was shot and wounded more than once. The Union troops who fired the fatal shots happened to be commanded by one of Armistead’s closest friends, Winfield Scott Hancock. His death was immortalized in the 1993 film Gettysburg and has come to symbolize the Lost Cause-influenced “brother versus brother” view of the war so celebrated in American culture.