Joseph Brevard Kershaw

Major General

Monument: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

Joseph Brevard Kershaw was born at Camden, South Carolina, January 5, 1822. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1843. After serving one year in the Mexican War as a lieutenant of the Palmetto Regiment, he resumed his law practice, and was twice elected to the legislature, and to the secession convention in 1860. Entering the Civil War as colonel of the 2nd South Carolina, he was present on Morris Island during the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and at First Manassas. He was promoted brigadier general to rank from February 13, 1862, and major general from May 18, 1864. Kershaw played a gallant and distinguished part in all the operations of the 1st Corps—almost literally from Manassas to Appomattox. While temporarily attached to General Ewell's command in the retreat from Richmond he was captured at Sayler's Creek on April 6, 1865, and was not released from Fort Warren until July. After the war he returned to the practice of law, and was elected to the state senate in 1865. In 1870, as a member of the Union Reform party convention, he prepared resolutions recognizing the Reconstruction acts. He was elected judge of the fifth circuit court of the state in 1877 and held the office until failing health compelled him to resign in 1893. He was thereafter postmaster of Camden, where he died on April 13, 1894, and where he is buried in the Quaker cemetery. Kershaw is a striking example of the citizen-soldier, who with little military background! developed into a wholly dependable, although not spectacular, brigade and division commander.

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