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Confederate (CSV)


Raleigh Thomas Colston

(1834 - 1863)

Home State: Virginia

Education: Virginia Military Institute

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Virginia Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He attended VMI for a year (1850-51), but returned home to manage the family estate on his father's death.

Soon after Brown's attempted insurrection at Harper's Ferry a military company was organized in this county, of which young Colston became captain; and when it became apparent that civil war was inevitable, the company rendezvoused at Hedgesville, and thence marched to Harpers Ferry, where it was enrolled as Company "E," 2d Virginia Infantry, then commanded by Colonel Thomas J. Jackson
He became the commanding officer of the Regiment on 1 September 1862 at Chantilly, Virginia after the two previous commanders, Colonel James W. Allen (6/62) and Lt. Colonel Lawson Botts (8/62), were killed and mortally wounded respectively.

On the Campaign

Captain Colston and his Regiment were detached at Martinsburg (Va) on 13 September 1862 following the Federal evacuation, and were not present at Sharpsburg on the 17th.

The rest of the War

He was himself mortally wounded 27 November 1863 at Mine Run, Virginia while serving as Lieutenant Colonel:

... and it was in repelling the enemy--who twice in line of battle attempted, and unsuccessfully, to drive back his regiment, deployed as skirmishers--that the chivalric Col. Raleigh T. Colston, commanding the Second Virginia Infantry, fell desperately wounded. This brave officer has since died.
- Major General Edward Johnson, February 1864.
He had his leg amputated after the battle, and died of pneumonia just under a month later at the home, Pavillion X, on the Lawn, of University of Virginia Law professor John B. Minor in Charlottesville.

References & notes

The quote above about the formation of Company E and additional biographical details are from Lewis1. His gravesite is on Findagrave (the portrait there is of his cousin Raleigh E Colston). Thanks to Kevin Donovan for his death details, from Walker's Memorial, Virginia Military Institute: Biographical Sketches of The Graduates and Élèves of The Virginia Military Institute Who Fell During The War Between The States (1875).


02/18/1834; Richmond, VA


12/23/1863; Charlottesville, VA; burial in University of Virginia Cemetery, Charlottesville, VA


1   Lewis, Virgil Anson, History of West Virginia: in Two Parts, Philadelphia: Hubbard Brothers, 1889, pp. 503-504  [AotW citation 1078]