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J. Kemper

J. Kemper

Confederate (CSA)

Brigadier General

James Lawson Kemper

(1823 - 1895)

Home State: Virginia

Education: Washington College, VMI, Class of 1842

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Kemper's Brigade

Before Sharpsburg

He graduated from Washington College (later Washington & Lee - BA 1842, MA 1845) and attended classes at theVirginia Military Institute (VMI), studied law, then practiced at Charleston (later West Virginia). In 1847 he served as Captain of Volunteers in the Mexican War. He was then active in State politics, serving 10 years in the House of Delegates.

He was commissioned Colonel in May 1861, and commanded the 7th Virginia Infantry. After Williamsburg, he was given command of the Brigade.

The rest of the War

He led his Brigade through to Gettysburg (7/1863), where he was seriously wounded and captured. He was exchanged after 3 months. "His injuries prevented further service in the field, but his gallant deeds were rewarded by promotion to major-general, and he was given command of the reserve forces of Virginia, until the close of the war."

After the War

He was elected Governor of Virginia, and served 4 years (1874-78).

References & notes

Source: Confederate Military History, Vol. III, pp. 620-621 - transcribed by Jeff Weaver at his Virginia Civil War site.

More on the Web

See a very nice presentation of his life from a high school team in Madison, Virginia




4/7/1895; Orange County, VA; burial in family plot, Orange County, VA