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Confederate Leaders: Ewell

Richard “Dick” Stoddert Ewell (1817-1872)

Ewell served on the frontier, in the Mexican War (1 brevet), and in action against various Indian tribes before resigning 7 May ’61 as CPT. He was commissioned COL, C.S.A., and took command of a camp of cavalry instruction before being appointed BG. He commanded a brigade at the Battle of First Manassas (21 Jul ’61) and was promoted MG on 23 Jan ’62.

In the Shenandoah Valley he commanded a division under Jackson at Winchester and Cross Keys and went with him to the Peninsula, where he fought in the Seven Days campaign. Ewell led his division at Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas, being wounded at the latter and losing a leg. Although his wound had not fully healed, Ewell returned to duty 23 May ’63, now as LTG in command of the II Corps, Army of Northern Virginia. During the Gettysburg campaign he had to be lifted onto his horse and strapped to the saddle. During the ensuing battle a bullet imbedded itself in his new wooden leg, a souvenir he proudly exhibited for years. He was again wounded at Kelley’s Ford (Nov ’63) and led his corps at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, until poor health compelled his retirement from active service. Ewell was subsequently given command of the defenses of Richmond until its evacuation. On the retreat to Appomattox he was captured at Saylor’s Creek (6 Apr ’65) and was not paroled until 19 Aug ’65. After his release Ewell resided in Tennessee until his death in 1872.

Note: Biographical information comes from the U.S. Army Center for Military History Gettysburg Staff Ride book.

Posted in Civil War.

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