(1821 - 1877)
Home State: Virginia
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 31st Virginia Infantry
A lawyer in Clarksburg (now West Virginia) before the War, he enlisted as Private in Company C of the 31st Virginia Regiment in May 1861. He was appointed Sergeant-Major of the Regiment in June, and commissioned Major in December. In the May 1862 reorganization he was elected Colonel of the 31st.1
On the Campaign
He commanded the 31st Virginia Infantry in Maryland.
The rest of the War
He remained in command of the Regiment at Fredericksburg and with the ANV through Gettysburg, during and after which he intermittantly held Brigade command as senior Colonel. He commanded the Brigade in the Wilderness and in the Valley into late 1864.2
[May 12, 1864 - at Spottsylvania, while leading Brigade] "In these woods I found Colonel John S. Hoffman, of the 31st Virginia, in a thicket of bushes, fingering the leaves at his feet, and asked him where he was hit. He said the bushes had knocked his spectacles off and he could not see. I told a man standing near him to find the Colonel's spectacles for him, and if he could not do so to lead the Colonel back to the rear, as he could not see a yard without his specks".He was severely wounded at Hatcher's Run in February 1865, again in Brigade command4, and lost his foot to amputation.
- Colonel J. C. Gibson, 49th Virginia.3
After the War
He returned to West Virginia, and was a politician and Judge, late in his life on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (1873-75).5
References & notes
06/25/1821; Weston, VA
11/18/1877; Clarksburg, WV; burial in Odd Fellows Cemetery, Clarksburg, WV
1 From muster roll data.
Cooke, James Dell, A History of the Thirty-First Virginia Regiment Volunteers C. S. A., Morgantown (WV): West Virginia University, 1955, pg. 22 [AotW citation 259]
2 US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, various citations [AotW citation 260]
3 Southern Historical Society, and Rev. John William Jones, Robert Alonzo Brock, James Power Smith, editors, Southern Historical Society Papers, 52 Vols., Richmond: Southern Historical Society, 1876-1959, Vol. XXXII (1904) [AotW citation 261]
4 Cooke, James Dell, A History of the Thirty-First Virginia Regiment Volunteers C. S. A., Morgantown (WV): West Virginia University, 1955, pg. 75 [AotW citation 262]