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J. Breathed

J. Breathed

Confederate (CSV)


James Breathed

(1838 - 1870)

Home State: Maryland

Education: U of Maryland, Class of 1855

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Pelham's (VA) Battery

Before Sharpsburg

He graduated from medical and surgical schools in Baltimore by 1855, and practiced as a physician in St. Joseph, Missouri until Virginia seceded and the War began in April 1861. 1 "As the war was breaking out he had a chance meeting on a train with James Ewell Brown Stuart (a.k.a. 'Jeb' Stuart). Breathed enlisted in the 1st Virginia Cavalry, and was a Private in Company B, on 31 August 1861. He met again, later, with Stuart, who commissioned him 'Lieutenant of Stuart's Horse Artillery.' " 2 He was appointed 3rd Lieutenant of Pelham's Battery on 23 March 1862. He was promoted to Captain in command of the Battery 9 August 1862.3

The rest of the War

He was recognized as a superior artillerist, and served with his battery and as a battalion commander for the remainder of the War. He was promoted to Major in February 1864, was wounded at Yellow Tavern, and ended the War paroled at Winchester, Virginia in April 1865. 3

After the War

He returned to Hancock after the War and practiced medicine until his early death, at 31, in 1870.1

References & notes

Photo above from Confederate Veteran magazine.1 His tombstone has a quote, attributed to Robert E. Lee: "The hardest artillery fighter the war produced."


02/13/1838; Morgan County, VA


02/14/1870; Hancock, MD; burial in St. Thomas Cemetery, Hancock, MD


1   United Confederate Veterans, and United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans, Confederate Veteran Magazine (1893-1932), 1893-01-00, Vol. XVI (1908), pg. 574-75  [AotW citation 238]

2   Quoted online by the Hancock Historical Society.
Clem, Richard E., Washington County Has an Unsung Confederate Hero!, Maryland Cracker Barrel magazine, 1990-01-01, pp. 12-14  [AotW citation 239]

3   Krick, Robert K., Lee's Colonels: A Biographical Register of the Field Officers of the Army of Northern Virginia, Dayton (Oh): Morningside Press, 1979, pg. 58  [AotW citation 240]