(1829 - 1864)
Home State: Virginia
Education: Virginia Military Institute (VMI), Class of 1848;Class Rank: 10/24
Command Billet: Brigade Commander
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: Rodes' Brigade
see his Battle Report
The son of a Gen'l (David Rodes, VA Militia, he graduated with distinction from the Virginia Military Institute in 1848 and was appointed an assistant professor there until 1851 when he resigned. He became chief engineer for the Northeast & Southwest Alabama Railroad by 1858. Rodes was granted a professorship at VMI in 1860, but the Civil War intervened before he could take up his chair.
Rodes volunteered and became Colonel in the 5th Alabama (May 1861). He led his regiment at 1st Manassas and was then commissioned Brigadier Gen'l (21 October 1861).
As part of Major General Daniel H. Hill's Division in the Peninsular Campaign, Rodes' Brigade fought at Seven Pines (where Rodes was wounded), Gaines' Mill, and Malvern Hill, suffering 50% casualties.
On the Campaign
After Rodes' recovery, he led his brigade in rear guard action against McClellan at South Mountain, MD; at Sharpsburg, his brigade fought with the Confederate center at "Bloody Lane" (Rodes was again wounded). Rodes' brigade suffered severe losses.
The rest of the War
but was not engaged at Fredericksburg. When Gen'l Hill was transferred to North Carolina (January 1863), Rodes became division commander. Rodes led Lt. General Stonewall Jackson's flank attack at Chancellorsville and won himself a promotion to Major General (7 May 1863). When the Army of Northern Virginia moved into Pennsylvania, Rodes' Division led the advance and drove Union forces back through Gettysburg; during the retreat from Gettysburg, Rodes' Division formed the rear guard.
At The Wilderness, Rodes stopped Union Gen'l Warren's advance, and at Spotsylvania, Rodes defended the "Mule Shoe" salient. Transferred to Gen'l Jubal Early's command in the Shenandoah Valley, Rodes participated at Monocacy. When Union Gen'l Phil Sheridan attacked Winchester (19 September 1864), Rodes was killed directing a counterattack that allowed Jubal Early's army to retreat safely.
More on the Web
Much data from the Rodes Brigade site.
3/29/1829; Lynchburg, VA
9/19/1864 Winchester, VA; burial in Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA