James Dearing

Brigadier General

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.  http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html

James Dearing was born at "Otterburne," Campbell County, Virginia, April 25, 1840. He was graduated at Hanover Academy and appointed to West Point in 1858. He resigned from the Military Academy on April 22, 1861, and entered Confederate service as a lieutenant of the Washington Artillery. He served in that arm until after the battle of Gettysburg, where he commanded a battalion of guns with rank of major. Dearing was then transferred to the cavalry and promoted colonel, and on April 29, 1864 was commissioned brigadier general. His brigade distinguished itself during the Petersburg campaign and until the evacuation of Richmond, serving in General W. H. F. Lee's division. On the retreat to Appomattox on April 6, 1865, during an action at High Bridge, General Bearing was mortally wounded, while engaged in a pistol duel with the Federal General Theodore Read, who was killed. The desperately wounded officer was taken to Lynchburg and lingered tor some time in the Ladies' Aid Hospital, dying on April 23, 1865, two weeks after the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. Shortly before his death he was visited and paroled by his old West Point classmate, Brigadier General Ranald S. Mackenzie, U.S.A., then commanding in Lynchburg. The last Confederate general officer to die of wounds received in action, he is now buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, Lynchburg.

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