Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The First General To Be Killed
Robert Selden Garnett was born December 16th 1819 on his families plantation in Essex County Virginia. Garnett went to the US Military academy graduating in 1841. He was 27th out of a class of fifty-two. He became a Second Lieutenant in the 4th United States Artillery, spending his first year on the Canadian Border in Fort Ontario New York. He would go on to serve under Zachary Taylor during the Mexican-American War, and service with the 7th US in Florida during the Seminole Wars, and the 9th US in Washington Territory fighting against Puget Sound Indians. Garnett was traveling in Europe after the death of his wife and son, when Virginia seceded from the United States.
Garnett resigned his commission April 1861 and began serving under Robert E Lee as the Adjutant General of Virginia. In June 1861 he was made a Brigadier General and Lee assigned him to reorganize the Confederate forces in western Virginia. The Confederates under pressure from Union Major General George B McClellan were forced to withdraw from West Virginia following the Battle of Rich Mountain. Trying to get his 4,500 men out of northern Virginia Garnett found his escape route to Beverly blocked. Using another route to march out going northeast and fighting a rear guard delaying action at Corrick’s Ford on July 13th 1861; Garnett was shot and killed. His body was recovered by the Union army. A Union Honor Guard traveled under a flag of truce to Baltimore Maryland to deliver Garnett’s body to relatives for burial. He would latter be re-buried next to his wife and son in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn New York.
An exhalent web site for information about this subject
Robert S. Garnett (1819–1861)