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J.R. Branch
J.R. Branch

Confederate (CSA)


James Read Branch

(1828 - 1869)
Home State: Virginia
Command Billet: Battery Commander
Branch of Service: Artillery
Unit: Branch's Petersburg (VA) Field Artillery


Before the Antietam Campaign:
He headed Thomas Branch and Sons, a banking firm in Petersburg from 1853 to the War. He raised a company of troops at the start of the War, and in July 1861 they became Company K, 16th Virginia Infantry with Branch as Captain. He transferred with his company to be a battery of Virginia Light Artillery on 18 March 1862.

In the Antietam Campaign:
He commanded his battery in action at Sharpsburg.

The remainder of the War:
He was promoted to Major of Artillery on 14 May 1863 and to Lieutenant Colonel on 25 August. He retired from active duty in March 1865 having been disabled since being injured at Plymouth, NC in April 1864.

After the War:
He moved his family to Richmond in 1863, and resided there after his service. A candidate for the Virginia Senate in 1869, he was killed in the collapse of a temporary bridge to a campaign event on an island in the James River just before the election.

References, Sources, and other notes:
Details of his life and the photograph here from Branchiana (1907). Thanks to Tom Branch for the pointer to that family history.

Birth Date: 7/28/1828    Place of Birth: New Market, VA    
College: Randolph-Macon    Graduating Year: 1847    
Death Date: 07/02/1869    Death Place: Richmond, VA    Burial Place: Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA

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