General Armistead

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General Armistead

Lewis Addison Armistead  (Confederate)
Compiled Military Service Record

Lewis A. Armistead
Lewis A. Armistead.jpg
February 18, 1817 -- July 5, 1863

Biographical data and notes:
- Born Feb. 18, 1817, in New Berne, NC 
- Lewis Addison Armistead died on Jul. 5, 1863
- Notes: Mortally wounded in Pickett's Charge
- Buried: St Paul Cemetery, Baltimore, MD

- Enlisted on Apr. 1, 1862, as a General Officer

- Promoted to Colonel (Full, Vol) (57th VA Inf)
- Promoted to Brig-Gen (Full, Vol) (April 1, 1862)

Lewis Addison Armistead

Brigadier-General Lewis Addison Armistead was born at New
Bern, N.C., February 18, 1817, a son of Gen. Walker Keith
Armistead, who, with four brothers, served in the war of 1812.

He was appointed a cadet in the United States Military Academy
in 1834, and on July 10, 1839, he became second lieutenant in
the Sixth United States infantry. In March, 1844, he was
promoted first lieutenant, and in this rank entered the war
with Mexico, in which he was distinguished, receiving the
brevet rank of captain for gallantry at Contreras and
Churubusco, and brevet major for his services at Molino del

He continued in the army until the beginning of the
Confederate war, serving for some time against the Indians on
the border, and being promoted captain in 1855.

He was given the rank of major, Confederate States army, to
date from March 16, 1861, and later in the same year became
colonel of the Fifty-seventh Virginia regiment, which he
commanded in the neighborhood of Suffolk and in the defense of
the Blackwater in the following winter.

April 1, 1862, he was promoted brigadier-general, and in this
rank he was assigned to the command of a brigade in the
division of Benjamin Huger. At Seven Pines, on the first day,
he was distinguished for personal bravery, making a heroic
stand with a small part of his men against an entire brigade
of the enemy until reinforced by Pickett.

General Armistead Monument
General Armistead Monument.gif

(Right) Photo of Armistead monument on the Gettysburg
Battlefield marks the approximate place where Armistead
was mortally wounded. The wall behind the monument marks
the Union lines.
On June 25th, he was stationed about 5 miles from Richmond,
between York River railroad and the Williamsburg road, where
he was engaged in continual skirmishing until the advance to
Malvern hill. In this latter battle, he was ordered by General
Lee to "charge with a yell" upon the enemy's position, after
the action of the artillery had been shown to be effective.

"After bringing on the action in the most gallant manner by
repulsing an attack of a heavy body of the enemy's
skirmishers," General Magruder reported, "he skillfully lent
support to the contending troops" in front of his position.

After this campaign, he was identified with the excellent
record of R. H. Anderson's and Pickett's divisions, commanding
a brigade consisting of the Ninth, Fourteenth, Thirty-eighth,
Fifty-third and Fifty-seventh Virginia regiments. On
September 6th, at the outset of the Maryland campaign, he was
assigned to the duty of provost marshal general of the army,
considered by General Lee at that juncture of the greatest
importance, and in that capacity he brought up the rear of the
army as it advanced.

He participated in operations of General McLaws against
Harper's Ferry, and after the retreat was left at
Shepherdstown to guard the ford. He continued with Pickett's
division throughout its subsequent duty.
Reaching the battlefield of Gettysburg on the 3rd of July, he
formed his men in the second line of assault against Cemetery

"Conspicuous to all, 50 yards in advance of his brigade,
waving his hat in the air, General Armistead led his men upon
the enemy with a steady bearing which inspired all with
enthusiasm and courage. Far in advance of all, he led the
attack till he scaled the works of the enemy and fell wounded
in their hands, but not until he had driven them from their
position and seen his colors planted over their

This was the testimony of Colonel Aylett, who succeeded to the
immediate command of the remnant of the brigade that was led
into action.

General Lee wrote in his report, "Brigadier-Generals
Armistead, Barksdale, Garnett and Semmes died as they had
lived, discharging the highest duties of patriots with
devotion that never faltered and courage that shrank from no

Sources: Confederate Military History, vol. IV, p. 576;
Confederate Military History, (1987).

Recommended Reading: Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command (912 pages). Description: Hailed as one of the greatest Civil War books, this exhaustive study is an abridgement of the original three-volume version. It is a history of the Army of Northern Virginia from the first shot fired to the surrender at Appomattox - but what makes this book unique is that it incorporates a series of biographies of more than 150 Confederate officers. The book discusses in depth all the tradeoffs that were being made politically and militarily by the South. Continued below...

The book does an excellent job describing the battles, then at a critical decision point in the battle, the book focuses on an officer - the book stops and tells the biography of that person, and then goes back to the battle and tells what information the officer had at that point and the decision he made. At the end of the battle, the officers decisions are critiqued based on what he "could have known and what he should have known" given his experience, and that is compared with 20/20 hindsight. "It is an incredibly well written book!"

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Recommended Reading: Hallowed Ground: A Walk at Gettysburg, by James M. Mcpherson (Crown Journeys) (Hardcover). Publishers Weekly: The country's most distinguished Civil War historian, a Pulitzer Prize winner (for Battle Cry of Freedom) and professor at Princeton, offers this compact and incisive study of the Battle of Gettysburg. In narrating "the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere," McPherson walks readers over its presently hallowed ground, with monuments numbering into the hundreds, many of which work to structure the narrative. They range from the equestrian monument to Union general John Reynolds to Amos Humiston, a New Yorker identified several months after the battle when family daguerreotypes found on his body were recognized by his widow. Indeed, while McPherson does the expected fine job of narrating the battle, in a manner suitable for the almost complete tyro in military history, he also skillfully hands out kudos and criticism each time he comes to a memorial. Continued below...

He praises Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine, but also the 140th New York and its colonel, who died leading his regiment on the other Union flank in an equally desperate action. The cover is effective and moving: the quiet clean battlefield park above, the strewn bodies below. The author's knack for knocking myths on the head without jargon or insult is on display throughout: he gently points out that North Carolinians think that their General Pettigrew ought to share credit for Pickett's charge; that General Lee's possible illness is no excuse for the butchery that charge led to; that African-Americans were left out of the veterans' reunions; and that the kidnapping of African-Americans by the Confederates has been excised from most history books.


Recommended Reading: Gettysburg, by Stephen W. Sears (640 pages) (November 3, 2004). Description: Sears delivers another masterpiece with this comprehensive study of America’s most studied Civil War battle. Beginning with Lee's meeting with Davis in May 1863, where he argued in favor of marching north, to take pressure off both Vicksburg and Confederate logistics. It ends with the battered Army of Northern Virginia re-crossing the Potomac just two months later and with Meade unwilling to drive his equally battered Army of the Potomac into a desperate pursuit. In between is the balanced, clear and detailed story of how tens-of-thousands of men became casualties, and how Confederate independence on that battlefield was put forever out of reach. The author is fair and balanced. Continued below...

He discusses the shortcomings of Dan Sickles, who advanced against orders on the second day; Oliver Howard, whose Corps broke and was routed on the first day; and Richard Ewell, who decided not to take Culp's Hill on the first night, when that might have been decisive. Sears also makes a strong argument that Lee was not fully in control of his army on the march or in the battle, a view conceived in his gripping narrative of Pickett's Charge, which makes many aspects of that nightmare much clearer than previous studies. A must have for the Civil War buff and anyone remotely interested in American history.


Recommended Reading: Pickett's Charge, by George Stewart. Description: The author has written an eminently readable, thoroughly enjoyable, and well-researched book on the third day of the Gettysburg battle, July 3, 1863. An especially rewarding read if one has toured, or plans to visit, the battlefield site. The author's unpretentious, conversational style of writing succeeds in putting the reader on the ground occupied by both the Confederate and Union forces before, during and after Pickett's and Pettigrew's famous assault on Meade's Second Corps. Continued below...

Interspersed with humor and down-to-earth observations concerning battlefield conditions, the author conscientiously describes all aspects of the battle, from massing of the assault columns and pre-assault artillery barrage to the last shots and the flight of the surviving rebels back to the safety of their lines… Having visited Gettysburg several years ago, this superb volume makes me want to go again.
Recommended Reading: Pickett's Charge--The Last Attack at Gettysburg (Hardcover). Description: Pickett's Charge is probably the best-known military engagement of the Civil War, widely regarded as the defining moment of the battle of Gettysburg and celebrated as the high-water mark of the Confederacy. But as Earl Hess notes, the epic stature of Pickett's Charge has grown at the expense of reality, and the facts of the attack have been obscured or distorted by the legend that surrounds them. With this book, Hess sweeps away the accumulated myths about Pickett's Charge to provide the definitive history of the engagement. Continued below...
Drawing on exhaustive research, especially in unpublished personal accounts, he creates a moving narrative of the attack from both Union and Confederate perspectives, analyzing its planning, execution, aftermath, and legacy. He also examines the history of the units involved, their state of readiness, how they maneuvered under fire, and what the men who marched in the ranks thought about their participation in the assault. Ultimately, Hess explains, such an approach reveals Pickett's Charge both as a case study in how soldiers deal with combat and as a dramatic example of heroism, failure, and fate on the battlefield.
Recommended ReadingBrigades of Gettysburg: The Union and Confederate Brigades at the Battle of Gettysburg (Hardcover) (704 Pages). Description: While the battle of Gettysburg is certainly the most-studied battle in American history, a comprehensive treatment of the part played by each unit has been ignored. Brigades of Gettysburg fills this void by presenting a complete account of every brigade unit at Gettysburg and providing a fresh perspective of the battle. Using the words of enlisted men and officers, the author and renowned Civil War historian, Bradley Gottfried, weaves a fascinating narrative of the role played by every brigade at the famous three-day battle, as well as a detailed description of each brigade unit. Continued below...
Organized by order of battle, each brigade is covered in complete and exhaustive detail: where it fought, who commanded, what constituted the unit, and how it performed in battle. Innovative in its approach and comprehensive in its coverage, Brigades of Gettysburg is certain to be a classic and indispensable reference for the battle of Gettysburg for years to come.

Recommended Reading: The Armistead Name in History. Description: The Armistead Name in History is a customized book offering a unique blend of fascinating facts, statistics and commentary about the Armistead name. The book is just one of an entire series of family name books in the Our Name in History collection. Each book in the collection is printed on demand and is compiled from hundreds of millions of records from the world's largest online resource of family history, Continued below... 

This particular book follows the Armistead family name through history and makes the perfect gift for your family members and anyone interested in the Armistead name. In the book you'll find out about where people with the Armistead last name originated. You may discover the countries and ports they left behind, the ships they sailed and more. You'll get a better idea of where people sharing the Armistead name settled and where they may reside today in the United States, Canada, England and other countries. You'll get all this information and much more in your Armistead family name book. If your last name is not Armistead, then check out our collection of nearly 300,000 family name books to find other available names in the series by entering the name in the search box provided below.

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