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J.R. Branch

J.R. Branch

Confederate (CSA)


James Read Branch

(1828 - 1869)

Home State: Virginia

Education: Randolph-Macon, Class of 1847

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Branch's Petersburg (VA) Field Artillery

Before Sharpsburg

He headed Thomas Branch and Sons, a banking firm in Petersburg from 1853 to the War. He raised a company of troops at the start of the War, and in July 1861 they became Company K, 16th Virginia Infantry with Branch as Captain. He transferred with his company to be a battery of Virginia Light Artillery on 18 March 1862.

On the Campaign

He led his battery in Maryland and was also Brig. Gen. Walker's divisional chief of artillery - he probably passed tactical command of his own battery at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862 to First Lieutenant R.G. Pegram.

The rest of the War

He was absent, "disabled" at Petersburg after 20 December 1862, but was back with his battery by February 1863. He was promoted to Major of Artillery on 14 May 1863 and to Lieutenant Colonel on 25 August. He retired from active duty in March 1865 having been disabled since being injured at Plymouth, NC in April 1864.

After the War

He moved his family to Richmond in 1863, and resided there after his service. A candidate for the Virginia Senate in 1869, he was killed in the collapse of a temporary bridge to a campaign event on an island in the James River just before the election.

References & notes

His service from his Compiled Service Records,1 online from fold3. Command relationship at Sharpsburg from Walker's Report. Details of his life and the photograph here from Branchiana (1907). Thanks to Tom Branch for the pointer to that family history.


07/28/1828; New Market, VA


07/02/1869; Richmond, VA; burial in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA


1   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 30434]