James Alexander Walker
James Alexander Walker was born near Mt. Sidney, Augusta County, Virginia, on August 27, 1832. He was dismissed from the Virginia Military Institute in his senior year on charges preferred by Stonewall Jackson, then a professor at the Institute. He challenged Jackson to a duel, although the two did not meet. After some eighteen months with the Covington & Ohio Railway, now the Chesapeake & Ohio, Walker studied law and was graduated from the University of Virginia. He settled in Pulaski County, and later entered Confederate service as captain of the Pulaski Guard. He was ordered to Harpers Ferry under the command of his old antagonist. Soon made lieutenant colonel of the 13th Virginia Infantry, he succeeded A. P. Hill as its colonel, upon the latter's promotion to brigadier in February 1862. Walker rapidly made a reputation as a desperate fighter and took part in almost every battle and engagement of the 2nd Corps from the Valley campaign of 1862 to Appomattox. He was severely wounded at Spotsylvania. At the special request of Jackson, who had come to have a high regard for him, he was promoted brigadier general from May 15, 1863, and given command of the old Stonewall Brigade. He was in divisional command at the surrender. General Walker then returned to Pulaski County and put in a crop of corn with two mules he had brought home from the army. Resuming his law practice, he was elected to the house of delegates in 1871 and lieutenant-governor of the state five years later. Splitting with the Democratic party over the "free-trade" policy of Cleveland, he became a Republican, and as such, was twice elected to Congress, serving from 1895 to 1899. He died in Wytheville, Virginia, October 20, 1901, and is buried there.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.
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