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J. Kemper
J. Kemper

Confederate (CSA)

Brigadier General

James Lawson Kemper

(1823 - 1895)
Home State: Virginia
Command Billet: Brigade Commander
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: Kemper's Brigade


Before the Antietam Campaign:
He graduated from Washington College (later Washington & Lee - BA 1842, MA 1845) and attended classes at theVirginia Military Institute (VMI), studied law, then practiced at Charleston (later West Virginia). In 1847 he served as Captain of Volunteers in the Mexican War. He was then active in State politics, serving 10 years in the House of Delegates.

He was commissioned Colonel in May 1861, and commanded the 7th Virginia Infantry. After Williamsburg, he was given command of the Brigade.

The remainder of the War:
He led his Brigade through to Gettysburg (7/1863), where he was seriously wounded and captured. He was exchanged after 3 months. "His injuries prevented further service in the field, but his gallant deeds were rewarded by promotion to major-general, and he was given command of the reserve forces of Virginia, until the close of the war."

After the War:
He was elected Governor of Virginia, and served 4 years (1874-78).

References, Sources, and other notes:
Source: Confederate Military History, Vol. III, pp. 620-621 - transcribed by Jeff Weaver at his Virginia Civil War site.

More on the Web:
See a very nice presentation of his life from a high school team in Madison, Virginia

College: Washington College, VMI    Graduating Year: 1842    
Death Date: 4/7/1895    Death Place: Orange County, VA    Burial Place: family plot, Orange County, VA

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