Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Cavalry Man

Confederate Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins died May 21st 1864, from wounds received at the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain.

Albert Gallatin Jenkins was born November 10th 1830 in Cabell County, Virginia, the son of Captain William and Jeanette Grigsby (McNutt) Jenkins.  He attended Marshall Academy, and graduated from both Jefferson College, and Harvard Law School.  Jenkins was admitted to the bar in 1850 and set up a practice in Charleston, Virginia.  In 1859 he inherited a part of his father plantation, and would be elected to serve as a Democratic United States Congressman.

When the Civil War started and Virginia seceded, Jenkins returned home from Congress, and raised a company of mounted rangers.  By June 1861 Jenkins’ company was part of the 8th Virginia Cavalry and Jenkins was their Lieutenant Colonel.  He served as a delegate to the First Confederate Congress, but was back in the saddle with a promotion to Brigadier General on August 1st 1862.  In September of that year Jenkins’ cavalry made a raid into Ohio near Buffington Island, as well as raiding throughout northern Kentucky and West Virginia.  In December 1862 Confederate General Robert E Lee had Jenkins with his men moved to the Shenandoah Valley.  During the Gettysburg Campaign Jenkins’ cavalry was the screen for Confederate General Richard S Ewell’s Corps, seizing the railroad in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and fighting in the Battle of Sporting Hill near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  He was wounded on July 2nd 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg, which kept him out of action for most of the rest of the year.

In 1864 Jenkins raised and organized a large cavalry force, and by May was the Commander of the Department of Western Virginia.  Learning of a Union force moving from the Kanawha Valley under the command of Brigadier General George Crook, Jenkins moved to intercept.  On May 9th 1864 Jenkins was wounded and captured during the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain, his arm was amputated but he didn’t recover.  He died May 21st 1864 and was buried in the New Dublin Presbyterian Cemetery.  His body would be moved later to the Confederate plot in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington, West Virginia.

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