Stephen Dodson Ramseur

Monument: Find-a-Grave

Stephen Dodson Ramseur was born at Lincolnton, North Carolina, May 31, 1837. He entered the freshman class at Davidson College in that state at the age of sixteen, but left in 1855 to accept an appointment to West Point, from which he was graduated in 1860. Resigning on April 6, 1861, he entered the service of the Confederacy as captain of the Ellis Light Artillery, a Raleigh battery, with which he reported to General Magruder at Yorktown in the spring of 1862. That April he was elected colonel of the 49th North Carolina, a regiment he led with distinction during the Seven Days; he was severely wounded at Malvern Hill. Promoted brigadier general on November 1, 1862 to succeed General George B. Anderson, who had been mortally wounded at Sharpsburg, Ramseur again took the field before Chancellorsville. He fought gallantly there (and was again wounded), and in the subsequent combats of the 2nd Corps. A third time wounded at Spotsylvania Court House, he accompanied General Early to the Shenandoah, and was promoted major general the day after his twenty-seventh birthday—the youngest West Pointer to attain that rank in the Confederate Army. At the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, after participating in the initial Confederate success, he was shot through both lungs while attempting to stem Sheridan's counterattack. He fell into the hands of the enemy, and was taken to Sheridan's headquarters, "Belle Grove," near Meadow Mills, where he died the following morning surrounded by his former friends and classmates at the Military Academy. Married less than a year, he had received word only the night before the battle of the birth of a daughter. His body was taken to Lincolnton for burial.

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

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