James Byron Gordon

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

James Byron Gordon, a distant relation of Major General John Brown Gordon, was born at Wilkesboro, North Carolina, November 2, 1822, and educated at Emory and Henry College, Virginia. Before the Civil War he operated a mercantile business, engaged in farming, and was a member of the North Carolina legislature in 1850. In 1861 Gordon enlisted as a private in the Wilkes Valley Guards, of which he was elected 1st lieutenant and later captain. Subsequently, he was appointed major of the 1st North Carolina Cavalry, which went to the front in Virginia. His regiment was assigned to Hampton's brigade of Stuart's Cavalry Corps in 1862, and fought in all the engagements of the latter command. Gordon was promoted colonel in the spring of 1863. Commissioned brigadier general on September 28, 1863, and assigned to the command of the North Carolina brigade, he took a gallant part in the engagements at Bethesda Church, Dumfries, and Buckland Mills. In the campaign of May 1864 Gordon's outposts were the first to confront Grant crossing the Rapidan. The day after the fight at Yellow Tavern, which resulted in the death of Stuart, General Gordon was mortally wounded near Meadow Bridge, while under attack by Sheridan's force, during the latter's raid upon Richmond. General Gordon died in the Confederate capital, May 18, 1864, and his body was taken to Wilkesboro for burial.

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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.