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Confederate (CSV)


John Richard Lewellen

(1822 - 1886)

Home State: Virginia

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 12th Virginia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He was Color Sergeant, Company A, First Virginia Regiment for Mexican War service (1846-48). He was running a religious newspaper, The Conductor, at Petersburg, VA before the Civil War. He entered service in Company K--formerly the (F.W.) Archer Rifles--on 4 May 1861 as First Lieutenant, and was promoted to Captain on 1 July. He was slightly wounded at Second Manassas, VA in August 1862.

On the Campaign

He rejoined his regiment in Maryland about 13 September 1862 and was seriously wounded in action at Crampton's Gap on 14 September while in command of the 12th Infantry as senior officer fit for duty (Lieutenant Colonel Taylor, present but ill):

The gallant bearing of Capt. Lewellen at the time when our regiment formed its line of battle on the slope of the mountain and began to descend to the road and fence at its foot was conspicuous. Drawing his sword, and I think waving it over his head, he placed himself a few paces to the front and right of the regiment, and in this position went forward with it ..."

The rest of the War

Llewellyn was in hospitals recovering from his wound for most of the remainder of 1862, and on light duty, detached on conscription service for all of 1863. He was promoted Major 3 October 1862. He rejoined his unit in the field in January 1864, commanded it in combat that year, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in February 1865 (to rank from July '64). He spent the last two months of the War sick in hospital.

After the War

After the War he was a farmer and one-time politician. In 1870 he was City Sergeant (Sheriff?) of Norfolk, VA and in 1880 was an editor there, probably of the Norfolk Journal. He was probably editor of the Danville Register from 1882 to his death in 1886.

References & notes

His service basics from Henderson.1 The quote above and more about his regiment from Bernard.2 Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1870 and 1880. His gravesite is on Findagrave; his stone has him as John Richard Llewellyn, his wife and children's stones at Blandford also have the Llewellyn spelling.

His name is most often seen as J. Richard Lewellen, suggesting he went by Richard.

He married Virginia Louisa Morris (1833-1887) in August 1850 and they had at least 5 children; most died young.

More on the Web

See much excellent detail about Colonel Lewellen from family genealogist Clete Ramsey and others at The Llewellyn Researcher.


1822; Campell County, VA


12/04/1886; Danville, VA; burial in Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Va


1   Henderson, William D., 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Lynchburg (Va): H. E. Howard Company, 1984, pg. 137  [AotW citation 808]

2   Bernard, George S., War Talks of Confederate Veterans, Petersburg (Va): Fenn & Owen, 1892, pp. 47, 48, 50  [AotW citation 809]