Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album. http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html
John Echols was born at Lynchburg, Virginia, March 20, 1823, and was graduated from Washington College (now Washington and Lee University. He studied law at Harvard and was admitted to practice in 1843. Prior to the Civil War he was commonwealth's attorney, member of the general assembly, and a delegate to the secession convention. After recruiting service in the western counties, Echols commanded the 27th Virginia Infantry at First Manassas with rank of lieutenant colonel, and was shortly afterwards promoted colonel. He was severely wounded at Kernstown during the Valley campaign of 1862, and was commissioned brigadier general to rank from April 16, 1862. His later service was almost entirely in Western Virginia (save for a brief period at Cold Harbor), during which he participated in numerous engagements including the battle of New Market. After the war General Echols became a prominent businessman in Staunton, Virginia, and Louisville, Kentucky, helping to organize the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway out of the old Virginia Central, and serving on the board of visitors of the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. A huge man, six feet four inches tall and weighing two hundred and sixty pounds, he was said to have rarely made an enemy and never lost a friend. He died in Staunton, May 24, 1896, 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.