Birkett Davenport Fry

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Birkett Davenport Fry, born in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, June 24, 1822, was educated at the Virginia Military Institute and subsequently attended West Point with the class of 1846, although he did not graduate, but chose instead to study law. After service in the Mexican War as a 1st lieutenant of voltigeurs, he emigrated to California, where he remained until 1859, meantime accompanying the filibuster, William Walker, to Nicaragua. The outbreak of the Civil War found him in Alabama engaged in cotton manufacturing. Appointed colonel of the 13th Alabama Infantry, he took his regiment to Virginia and was severely wounded at Seven Pines, again at Sharpsburg, and a third time at Chancellorsville. He performed notable service at Gettysburg, where he commanded Archer's brigade after the latter's capture. He participated in Pickett's historic charge, was again wounded near the Federal battle line, and fell into the hands of the enemy. By a special exchange he returned to the army in time to take a part in the preliminary stages of the siege of Petersburg, and was promoted to brigadier general on May 24, 1864. During the last months of the war, he commanded a district in South Carolina and Georgia. Emigrating to Cuba at the close of hostilities, General Fry returned to the United States in 1868 to embark on a successful business career in Alabama and Florida. In 1881 he removed to Richmond, where he was for ten years president of a cotton mill and where he died, January 21, 1891. He was buried in Montgomery, Alabama.

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Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.