John Randolph Chambliss Jr was born January 23rd 1833 in Hicksford, Greensville, Virginia. He attended West Point, graduating 31st out of 52 in the class in 1853. He received a commission of Second Lieutenant, and taught cavalry tactics at military school in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The next year Chambliss resigned his commission and returned to the family home. From 1858 through 1861 he was a member of the Virginia militia.
In July 1861 he would be commissioned the Colonel of the 13th Virginia Cavalry. In November 1862 his regiment was assigned to be part of General William Henry Fitzhugh “Rooney” Lee’s cavalry. At the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9th 1863, Chambliss’s men were located at Beverly Ford. His 50 man unit drove the Union cavalry in their front into the river taking a number of prisoners. After Rooney Lee was wounded and Colonel Solomon Williams was killed in the battle Chambliss took over command of the brigade. Riding into Pennsylvania with Confederate General JEB Stuart, he was in the cavalry battle at Hanover, Pennsylvania on June 30th 1863. Chambliss’s brigade also saw action at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3rd 1863 out on East Cavalry Field. He continued to lead the brigade in the Battle of Bristoe Station, and would be promoted to Brigadier General.
While leading his men on the Charles City Road east of Richmond, Virginia during the Second Battle of Deep Bottom on August 16th 1864 Chambliss was killed. His body was left on the Union side of this line and was buried by Union men. The next day under a flag of truce Confederate General David M Gregg sent a detachment of Confederates across the line to retrieve Chambliss’ body for burial in Emporia, Virginia in the Chambliss Family Cemetery.