(1834 - 1863)
Home State: Virginia
Education: Virginia Military Institute
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 2nd Virginia Infantry
He attended VMI for a year (1850-51), but returned home to manage the family estate on his father's death.
Soon after Brown's attempted insurrection at Harper's Ferry a military company was organized in this county, of which young Colston became captain; and when it became apparent that civil war was inevitable, the company rendezvoused at Hedgesville, and thence marched to Harpers Ferry, where it was enrolled as Company "E," 2d Virginia Infantry, then commanded by Colonel Thomas J. JacksonHe became the commanding officer of the Regiment on 1 September 1862 at Chantilly, Virginia after the two previous commanders, Colonel James W. Allen (6/62) and Lt. Colonel Lawson Botts (8/62), were killed and mortally wounded respectively.
On the Campaign
Captain Colston and his Regiment were detached at Martinsburg (Va) on 13 September 1862 following the Federal evacuation, and were not present at Sharpsburg on the 17th.
The rest of the War
He was himself mortally wounded 27 November 1863 at Mine Run, Virginia while serving as Lieutenant Colonel:
... and it was in repelling the enemy--who twice in line of battle attempted, and unsuccessfully, to drive back his regiment, deployed as skirmishers--that the chivalric Col. Raleigh T. Colston, commanding the Second Virginia Infantry, fell desperately wounded. This brave officer has since died.He had his leg amputated after the battle, and died of pneumonia just under a month later at the home of John B. Minor in Gordonsville.
- MGen Edward Johnson, February 1864.
References & notes
The quote above about the formation of Company E and additional biographical details are from Lewis1.
More on the Web
His gravestone is online from the VMI Archives.
02/18/1834; Richmond, VA
12/23/1863 Gordonsville, VA; burial in UVa Cemetery, Charlottesville, VA