William Edmondson Jones

Monument: Find-a-Grave

William Edmondson "Grumble" Jones was born on the Middle Fork of Holston River, Washington County, Virginia, May 9, 1824. He was educated at Emory and Henry College and at West Point, from which he was graduated in 1848. Jones then served on the frontier until 1857, when he resigned his commission, and after a visit to Europe, settled on his estate near Glade Spring Depot, Virginia. Upon the secession of his state he organized a company known as the "Washington Mounted Rifles," of which he was elected captain and with which he took part under J. E. B. Stuart in the campaign of First Manassas. He became colonel of the 1st, and then the 7th, Virginia Cavalry. He continued under Stuart and was promoted brigadier general to rank from September 19, 1862. Particularly distinguishing himself at the battle of Brandy Station (Fleetwood) in June 1863, Jones, who had been pronounced the "best outpost officer" in the cavalry by his superior, protected the flank and rear of the army en route to Pennsylvania. However, a disagreement with Stuart caused his relief; he was then assigned to command the Department of Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee, where he organized a brigade and rendered excellent service. After participating in Longstreet's Knoxville expedition and fighting at Cloyd's Mountain, General Jones was ordered to intercept Hunter in the latter's raid up the Shenandoah Valley. At the battle of Piedmont, June 5, 1864, he was struck by a ball and instantly killed while encouraging his men in the front line. In the subsequent confusion and retreat his body fell into the hands of the Federals, by whom it was returned to his friends, and buried in the yard of Old Glade Spring Presbyterian Church.

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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