Augustus Alexandria Chapman
Augustus Alexandria Chapman was
born on March 9, 1803, at Union, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son of Henly
and Mary (Alexander) Chapman. The father, of a widespread and prominent Virginia
family, was a lawyer and state senator. Chapman attended the University of
Virginia and studied law there. Admitted to the bar in 1825, he represented
Monroe County in the Virginia House from 1835 to 1841 and 1857 to 1861. He was
also a U.S. congressman, a Democrat, from 1843 to 1847. Chapman was described as
"a gentleman of fine presence, cultivated manners, and ripe scholarship. He was
an able lawyer, a finished orator, and almost invincible in courts or in
The politically prominent Chapman was brigadier general of the 19th Brigade of the Virginia Militia in 1861, which consisted of six regiments from Raleigh, Mercer, Fayette, Monroe, and Giles counties. Chapman mustered in his militia in June, 1861, to repel a threatened raid. Later the militia participated, though not in the front lines, in the Kanawha (Gauley Bridge) campaign, serving from August to October, 1861. The militia, stationed at Layette Courthouse, aided the Confederate forces of Brigadier Generals Henry Wise and John Floyd in checking the advance of Union forces up the Kanawha River. On September 3, 1861, Wise's Confederate brigade attacked Union troops at Pig Creek and Gauley Bridge. In conjunction with Wise's attack Chapman's militiamen advanced on the Union rear and drove in the Union outposts. Wise's attack failed, however, and Chapman was forced to withdraw. On September 10 General Floyd ordered Chapman to reinforce Floyd's camp at Carnifax Ferry. Before Chapman could arrive, Union forces assaulted and seized Floyd's camp. After this action the Confederate troops evacuated the area, and with the onset of winter, the campaign petered out. For the remainder of the war General Chapman served in various civil posts, including provost marshal of Monroe County, and delivered several speeches urging a more vigorous war effort.
After the war Chapman resumed his legal career and again dabbled in local politics. He died on June 7,1876, at the train station in Hinton, West Virginia, while en route to the state Democratic convention. His body was brought back for burial in Union's Green Hill Cemetery.
General Chapman's command of a brigade of militia that served in a campaign qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.
Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.