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P.J. Semmes

P.J. Semmes

Confederate (CSA)

Brigadier General

Paul Jones Semmes

(1815 - 1863)

Home State: Georgia

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Semmes' Brigade


see his Battle Report

Before Sharpsburg

Before the war he had been a planter and state militia Captain, and in 1860 he was a wealthy 45 year old bank agent in Columbus, GA. He was appointed Colonel of the 2nd Georgia Infantry on 7 May 1861 and was promoted to Brigadier General on 11 March 1862. He commanded a brigade in Magruder's division and led them at fighting in Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Seven Pines, VA that summer. He was then assigned command of a brigade in McLaws' division.

On the Campaign

He led his brigade in Maryland.

The rest of the War

He was mortally wounded while leading the attack of his brigade at Gettysburg, PA on 2 July 1863 and died about a week later at Martinsburg, WV.

References & notes

His service from his Compiled Service Records,1 online from fold3. Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph in George Forrester Williams' The Memorial War Book (1894) with a nicer reproduction in Matthew Brady's Illustrated History of the Civil War, 1861-65 (1912).

He married Jane Emily Hemphill (1814-1884) in June 1836 and they had 7 children.

He was cousin to Confederate commerce raider Admiral Raphael Semmes.

More on the Web

See a fine piece about his death from Laura Elliott on Civil War Talk.


06/04/1815; Wilkes County, GA


07/10/1863; Martinsburg, VA; burial in Linwood Cemetery, Columbus, GA


1   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 29545]