Paul Jones Semmes

Monument: Find-a-Grave

Paul Jones Semmes was born at Montford's Plantation, Wilkes County, Georgia, June 4, 1815. He attended the University of Virginia, and returned to Georgia to become a banker and planter near Columbus. He also actively interested himself in the state militia, serving as captain of the Columbus Guards from 1846 until 1861. At the outbreak of the Civil War Semmes was elected colonel of the 2nd Georgia Infantry and took his regiment to Virginia. Promoted brigadier general the following spring, to rank from March 11, 1862, he participated in Magruder's defense of Yorktown and Williamsburg, and also served in Magruder's division at the battle of Seven Pines. During the Seven Days battles his command was attached to McLaws' division of Longstreet's corps, with which he later rendered gallant service at Crampton's Gap and Sharpsburg. His brigade aided in the defense of Marye's Heights at the battle of Fredericksburg, and was present with McLaws at Salem Church during the Chancellorsville campaign. During Longstreet's attack against the Round Tops on the second day at Gettysburg, General Semmes was mortally wounded (July 2, 1863). Conveyed across the Potomac in an ambulance to Martinsburg, (West) Virginia, before the retreat of the main army, he died there on July 10, and was temporarily buried. His remains were later interred in Linnwood Cemetery, Columbus, Georgia.

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

Previous Page