Robert Emmet Rodes

Major General

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

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

Robert Emmett Rodes was born at Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 29, 1829. After graduation from the Virginia Military Institute in 1848, he continued as assistant professor there until 1851, when he resigned to engage in the profession of civil engineering. At the outbreak of war Rodes entered the Confederate Army as colonel of the 5th Alabama Infantry. His conduct at First Manassas soon won for him a brigadier's commission (October 21, 1861). He was severely wounded at Seven Pines, and resumed his command before he was well, in order to take part in the battle of Gaines's Mill. As a result he sustained a long illness. He particularly distinguished himself later at South Mountain and Sharpsburg; and on D. H. Hill's being sent to North Carolina in January 1863, he was assigned to command Hill's division. He was promoted major general for his services at Chancellorsville, where he led the van of Jackson's famous flank march. Rodes was also at the head of his division successively at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. Transferred to the Shenandoah Valley with the 2nd Corps in June 1864, he participated in the subsequent movements of that command. He was mortally wounded at Winchester on September 19, 1864, while directing a counterattack which was substantially responsible for extricating the Confederate forces from that battlefield. He is buried in the city of his birth.

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