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H. K. Douglas

H. K. Douglas

Confederate (CSV)


Henry Kyd Douglas

(1838 - 1903)

Home State: Virginia

Education: Franklin and Marshall College, Class of 1858

Command Billet: Staff Officer

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Jackson's Command

Before Sharpsburg

After college he studied law at Lexington, and was admitted to the bar of Virginia in 1860. He enlisted as Private in April 1861 in Co. B, 2nd Virginia Infantry and was at 1st Manassas. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in August 1861. In early 1862 he was appointed Brigade assistant inspector general, and to General Jackson's staff in June. He was on the Shenandoah Valley campaign, at Cedar Mountain, and at 2nd Manassas.

On the Campaign

On General Jackson's staff, and served as guide and local expert, as his familiy's home, "Ferry Hill", was on the Maryland side of the Potomac across from Shepherdstown.

The rest of the War

He left Jackson's staff in October and was appointed Captain of Co. C of the 2nd Virginia Infantry. He fought at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, where he was assistant inspector of the brigade where "by his daring example [he] caused the greatest enthusiasm among the men"1. He joined the staff of General Edward Johnson, and was promoted Major. He was wounded and captured at Gettysburg, being a prisoner at Johnson's Island, Ohio, until exchanged in March 1864. He was later staff officer to Generals Gordon and Early (?), and saw action on the Overland, Shenandoah Valley and Petersburg campaigns. He commanded a Virginia brigade at Appomattox, by which time he was possibly Colonel.

After the War

Immediately after the war he was held as a witness at the trial of the Lincoln conspirators, hving known some of them. He practiced law at Hagerstown, corresponded and wrote for the press about the War, and was active in veterans' affairs. He wrote his memoirs, I Rode With Stonewall (first published 1940). He led initiative for the re-burial of Confederates from the Antietam Battlefield to Hagerstown in 1877. He later ran for office in the Maryland Senate and U.S. Congress, but was unsuccessful. He was appointed Major General and was Adjutant General of Maryland 1892-96,2 and attorney to the Washington County Commission.3

References & notes

Basic biographical information from Douglas.4

Douglas is considered a somewhat unreliable historical source, both by his contemporaries and modern historians, as he tended to exaggerate his own significance and probably invented facts about his wartime experience. He has been considered a "suspect" in the loss of Gen Hill's copy of Special Order 191 near Frederick, though there is no proof that he had a role.

Col Henry K Douglas Drive in Hagerstown is named for him.


09/29/1838; Shepherdstown, VA


12/18/1903; burial in Elmwood Cemetery, Shepherdstown, WV


1   Report of 26 May 1863 of Col. J. H. S. Funk, 5th Virginia Infantry, commanding Paxton's brigade at Chancellorsville.
US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Vol. 25/Part 1 (Ser #39), pg. 1015  [AotW citation 422]

2   Maryland State Archives, and Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist, and staff, Maryland State Archives, Published c. 2002, first accessed 01 January 2002, <>, Source page: /msa/speccol/sc2600/sc2685/html/adjgen.html  [AotW citation 423]

3   Randall, John C., Randall's General Directory of Hagerstown, 1893-94, Hagerstown (Md): John C. Randall, Publisher, 1893, pg. 6  [AotW citation 424]

4   Douglas, Henry Kyd, I Rode With Stonewall, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1940  [AotW citation 425]