Confederate General Jubal Early

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Jubal Early was a Confederate general who fought at most major engagements during the American Civil War.

He was born on Nov. 3, 1816, in Franklin County, Va. His father ran a large tobacco plantation. Young Jubal attended local school and two private academies.

Jubal Early

He enrolled in the U.S. Military Academy in 1833. He graduated in 1837 with a commission in the 3rd U.S. Artillery regiment and fought in the Second Seminole War. He resigned from the Army in 1838 and became a lawyer. When the Mexican-American War began, he re-enlisted with a commission of major.

A member of the Virginia House of Delegates who was personally opposed to secession, he nonetheless commanded the 24th Virginia Infantry in his first role in the Confederate Army. He led one of the successful divisions that stormed through the Union lines to victory at the First Battle of Bull Run in August 1861; afterward, he won promotion to the rank of brigadier general.

Wounded at the Battle of Williamsburg, Early took time off to recover and then joined the command of Maj. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Early commanded troops at Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Cold Harbor.

Dispatched to the Shenandoah Valley in July 1864, Early maneuvered his troops to the outskirts of Washington, D.C. He and his men lost at the Battle of Cedar Creek in October 1864. After Early suffered a further defeat at Waynesboro, Va., in March 1865, the Confederate top commander, Robert E. Lee, relieved him of his command.

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Early fled to Texas and ended up in Canada, where he wrote his memoirs. He took up the law again when he returned to Virginia in 1869. He helped found the Southern Historical Society. He was also a writer, producing books and articles that advanced the idea of the "Lost Cause of the South."

He died on March 2, 1894, in Lynchburg, Va. He was 77.

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