Richard Brooke Garnett

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.

Richard Brooke Garnett, a cousin of General Robert Selden Garnett, was born at "Rose Hill," Essex County, Virginia, November 21, 1817. The cousins graduated together at West Point two numbers apart in the class of 1841. Richard then went to the Florida War of 1841-42. His service thereafter was in the South and West, although he saw no active service in the war with Mexico. Resigning in May 1861, Garnett was commissioned a major in the Regular Confederate Army and, on November 14, brigadier general in the Provisional Army. He commanded the Stonewall Brigade at Kernstown, and was court-martialed thereafter by Stonewall Jackson, but was never tried. In all probability Jackson's action was not justified. He was then assigned to Pickett's division of Longstreet's corps, with which he served at South Mountain and Sharpsburg. On the third day at Gettysburg his brigade of five Virginia regiments was in the front rank of Pickett's assault. Some twenty yards from the Federal battle line Garnett disappeared in the holocaust of flame and smoke, and a few moments later his riderless horse, streaming blood, came galloping to the rear. It is supposed that his sidearm and insignia of rank were removed by a Federal soldier, and that as a result, his body was interred in a burial trench with the unidentified Confederate dead. Since these soldiers were re-interred at various points in the South some years after the war, the location of Garnett's grave is unknown. Years later his sword was found in a Baltimore pawnshop.

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