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Confederate (CSV)


Richard Holmes Powell

(1821 - 1884)

Home State: Alabama

Education: Randolph-Macon College, Class of 1843

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 3rd Alabama Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He moved with his family to Alabama in 1839. By 1861 he was a planter with extensive land and slaves in Macon County. He served several terms as Intendant (similar to an office of Mayor) of Union Springs from 1856, and founded the first bank there in 1860. He enrolled as Captain of Company D, 3rd Alabama Infantry in April 1861. He was wounded at Malvern Hill, VA on 1 July 1861.

On the Campaign

He commanded his Company in action near Turner's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September 1862.*

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major in 1863 and (probably) Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, date not given. He was wounded again at Spotsylvania Court House, VA on 19 May 1864.

After the War

He served a term in the state Senate, was admitted to the bar at Union Springs in 1868, and was also owner (from 1866) and editor of the Union Springs Herald through which he "fought the black menace of radicalism." He published a history of the 3rd Alabama Infantry in his paper in 1866-67. He was at least twice an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Alabama and intended to run again in 1886. He was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1880 and was reelected to his third term shortly before his death in 1884.

References & notes

His service from the State of Alabama.1 His command on South Mountain from a casualty list for Rodes' Brigade in the Montgomery Weekly Advertiser of 8 October 1862. Personal details from a bio sketch in Owen's History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography (Vol. 4, 1921). His gravesite is on Findagrave.

* He may not have actually been in Maryland in 1862: Booth Malone [his 3rd Alabama Infantry Regiment blog] has found that he may have been sick in Union Springs, AL from July 1862 to at least 15 September when he wrote a letter from Union Springs mentioning he had been home with fever and requested a position as Commandant of a nearby Camp of Instruction.

He married Mary Ann Blackmon (1824-1872) in 1844, and they had 7 children.

More on the Web

Some of his papers, primarily pre-war, are at the University of Alabama [finding aid].


11/02/1821; Monticello, GA


10/15/1884; Union Springs, AL; burial in Oak Hill Cemetery, Union Springs, AL


1   State of Alabama, Dept. of Archives & History, Alabama Civil War Service Database, Published 2004, first accessed 01 January 2010, <>, Source page: /civilwar/soldier.cfm?id=162423, etc.  [AotW citation 25581]