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R.W. Jones

R.W. Jones

Confederate (CSV)


Richard Watson Jones

(1837 - 1914)

Home State: Virginia

Education: Randolph-Macon College (BA 1857), University of Virginia (MA 1861),
University of Mississippi (LL.D.)

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 12th Virginia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

In 1860 he was 22 years old and a graduate student at the University of Virginia; his home of record was his widowed mother's prosperous farm in Greensville County, VA. He enlisted there on 22 February 1862 as a Private in Company I, 12th Virginia Infantry, but was immediately afterward commissioned Captain.

On the Campaign

He relieved the wounded Captain Lewellen at Crampton's Gap on 14 September 1862 as next-senior officer, and led the remnants of the regiment at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major on 30 July 1864 and led the regiment for much of the rest of the war. He was surrendered and paroled with them at Appomattox Court House, VA on 9 April 1865.

After the War

He was a college professor and administrator for the rest of his life. First as professor at Randolph-Macon (1866-68), then President of the Petersburg (VA) Female College (1868-71) and President of Martha Washington College (VA, 1871-76). By 1880 he was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS and from 1885 to 1888 the first President of the Industrial Institute and College (Coumbus, MS; now the Mississippi University for Women). In 1888 he was appointed President of Emory & Henry College (VA) but returned as professor to the University of Mississippi in 1890 and retired from that post in 1905.

References & notes

His basic service information from the roster in Henderson1, with details of the command succession in the 12th Infantry in Maryland from Bernard.2 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860, 1880, and 1900, a bio sketch in Edward Mayes' History of Education in Mississippi (1899), and his obituary in the Knoxville (TN) Journal and Tribune of 21 December 1914. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a portrait hosted by the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Tennessee in their Tennessee Portrait Project.

He married Elizabeth Susan "Bettie" Spratley (1843-1940) in January 1864 and they had 8 children.


05/16/1837; Greensville County, VA


12/19/1914; burial in Lake Park Cemetery, Laurel, MS


1   Henderson, William D., 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Lynchburg (Va): H. E. Howard Company, 1984  [AotW citation 812]

2   Bernard, George S., War Talks of Confederate Veterans, Petersburg (Va): Fenn & Owen, 1892, pg. 50; before pg. 225 (image)  [AotW citation 813]