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J. Archer
J. Archer

Confederate (CSA)

Brigadier General

James Jay Archer

(1817 - 1864)
Home State: Maryland
Command Billet: Brigade Commander
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: Archer's Brigade

see his Battle Report


Before the Antietam Campaign:
After Princeton, he attended Bacon College (Georgetown, KY), and studied law at the University of Maryland . He then practiced law. He volunteered for service, and was a Captain, in Mexico, 1847 - 48. He was cited for bravery (by brevet to Major) for action at Chapultepec. He was then discharged, but was again commissioned in the US Army in 1855. He resigned his commission as Captain in May 1861.

He began his Confederate service as a Captain, Provisional Army, but was soon appointed Colonel of the 5th Texas Regiment, which he led in the Peninsula campaign and at Seven Pines. In June 1862 he was appointed Brigadier General in command of the Tennessee Brigade/Hill's Light Division, which fought in the Seven Days and at Second Manassas.

In the Antietam Campaign:
He was in command of the Archer's "Tennessee" Brigade of Hill's Light Division which arrived at Sharpsburg after an all day march from Harpers Ferry late on the afternoon of 17 September and was part of the counterattack which drove the Federal Left Wing back from Sharpsburg at the end of the battle. He had been ill and "turned over command of the Brigade to Colonel Turney (First Tennessee), under whom, with the exception of the Fifth Alabama, it marched to the battle-field of Sharpsburg, while I followed in an ambulance. " He resumed command as the Brigade formed for attack late in the afternoon of 17 September.

The remainder of the War:
He led the Brigade at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. He then commanded Archer's Brigade/Heth's Division at Gettysburg where he was captured: the first General officer to be captured after Lee took command of the ANV. He was exchanged after nearly a year as a prisoner in 1864 and briefly commanded 2 brigades, but died in October as a result of continuing ill health.

Birth Date: 12/19/1817    Place of Birth: Harford County, MD    
College: Princeton College    Graduating Year: 1835    
Death Date: 10/24/1864    Death Place: Richmond, VA    Burial Place: Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia

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