Saturday, September 20, 2008

General Godwin

Confederate Brigadier General Archibald Godwin was killed on September 20th 1864 during the 3rd Battle of Winchester.

General Godwin was the son of Jonathan and Julia [Campbell]Godwin, and was born in 1831 in Nansemond Co,VA. When he was 19 he followed the gold fever to California, and went on to build a nice fortune in mining, cattle, real estate and timber. In 1860 he lost the Democratic nomination for California Governor by just one vote.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861 Godwin moved backed to Virginia. He began his military career as the Assistant Provost Marshal in charge of Libby Prison, and the task of constructing the prison in Salisbury, North Carolinia. Godwin was at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and took part under Colonel Isaac Avery in the assault on Cemetery Hill in July 2nd 1863. Colonel Avery was wounded and Godwin took over the command, until November 7th 1863 when he was captured. When he was exchanged in 1864 he was promoted to Brigadier General and put in charge of what had been Hoke’s Brigade.

He had gotten a reputation as being cruel to Union POW’s. There was some talk after the war of trying Godwin for war crimes, until the Federal government found out he was dead.

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