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Confederate (CSA)

Colonel

Andrew Jackson Grigsby

(1819 - 1895)

Home State: Virginia

Education: Washington College

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Winder's Brigade

Before Sharpsburg

He was a farmer in Giles County and had service in the Mexican War (1846-47). He enlisted as Private in Company D, 7th Virginia Infantry on 15 April 1861, but was soon after appointed major of the 27th Virginia Infantry (to date from 12 June 1861). He and Lt. Col. John W. Echols commanded the regiment in its first battle at Bull Run, on July 21, 1861. Grigsby was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 14 October 1861 and Colonel on 28 May 1862. He was wounded in action at Port Republic, VA on 9 June and at Malvern Hill, VA on 1 July 1862.

On the Campaign

BGen J. R. Jones, in command of Jackson's Division, was disabled by the explosion of a shell above his head. Early in the battle he turned over the command to BGen. William E. Starke, who fell in the fight, leaving Col. A. J. Grigsby in command of the Stonewall division.

The rest of the War

During November, Maj. Elisha F. Paxton of Lexington, serving on Jackson's staff, was recommended by Jackson to command the Stonewall Brigade over the colonels of the regiments. Grigsby, "mad as thunder," and the other colonels all resigned after being passed over. Grigsby vowed, "as soon as the war ends, I will challenge Jackson to a duel."

More than 40 officers in the brigade signed a petition asking for Grigsby's promotion. "No bolder or more daring officer ever led troops into a fight or managed them better when actually engaged," was their plea, but it fell on deaf ears. Grigsby went to Richmond and had an audience with President Jefferson Davis. In the midst of the dialogue, epithets rent the air. The president leaped to his feet and shouted, "Do you know who I am? I am president of the Confederacy."

Grigsby replied in kind. "Do you know who I am?" he bellowed. "I am Andrew Jackson Grigsby of Rockbridge County, Virginia, late colonel of the Bloody 27th Virginia of the Stonewall Brigade, and as good a man as you or anyone else, by God!" Needless to say, Grigsby did not receive his deserved promotion.

He resigned his commission on 19 November 1862.

References & notes

Most material above quoted from Bob Driver's piece A.J. Grigsby in the Lexington (VA) News Gazette of 30 September 2003. Service dates and details from Lowell Reidenbaugh's 27th Virginia Infantry (1988). His gravesite is on Findagrave, which also has a post-War picture of him; thanks to Chris Pumarejo for the pointer.

Birth

11/2/1819; Rockbridge County, VA

Death

12/23/1895 Stony Point, VA; burial in Gross family cemetery, Stony Point, VA