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Robert Selden Garnett
Birth: Dec. 16, 1819
Essex County
Virginia, USA
Death: Jul. 13, 1861
Tucker County
West Virginia, USA

American Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. He was the first general officer on either side of the conflict who was killed in battle. Born in Essex County, Virginia, his father owned a plantation. He attended the US Military Academy at West Point, New York and after graduating in 1841, he received a 2nd lieutenant's commission in the Artillery. His first assignments were in Buffalo and Fort Ontario, New York, and Fort Monroe, Virginia. In 1843 he returned to West Point and became an assistant tactics instructor, followed by an assignment as a US Army recruiter and an aide-de-camp to General John E. Wool. During the Mexican-American War (April 1846 until February 1848) he served under General (and later US President) Zachary Taylor and saw combat at the Battle of Monterrey (September 1846) and Battle of Buena Vista (February 1847) and received two brevets for gallantry. After the end of the war, he was transferred to the 7th US Infantry and served in the Seminole Wars. He was then assigned to the Presidio at Monterey, California and while there, he sketched a design that would later become the California State Seal. He followed this assignment with tours at Washington DC, and the Texas frontier where he was promoted to the rank of captain. Following another assignment to West Point as Commander of Cadets, he returned to Virginia and then to the Texas frontier once again, where he was assigned to the 1st US Cavalry. After being promoted to the rank of major, he was assigned to the 9th US Infantry and assigned to the Washington Territory where he assisted in the construction of Fort Simcoe and participated in the 1856 Yakima Expedition and conflict with the Puget Sound Native Americans two years later. After the death of his wife and infant son at Fort Simcoe, he was granted a leave of absence to take them back East and inter them in Brooklyn, New York. He was travelling in Europe when the South seceded from the US and the Confederate States of America was formed. In April 1861 he resigned his commission in the US Army and joined the Confederacy, becoming Adjutant General of Virginia forces under General Robert E. Lee. The following June he became a brigadier general of the Provisional Confederate Army and was ordered to combat Union forces in northwestern Virginia (now West Virginia). His forces were soon forced to withdraw due to pressure from the Union forces and after a defeat at the Battle of Rich Mountain (July 11, 1861) in Randolph County, Virginia, he attempted to escape with his men and while directing his rear guard in a delaying action at Corrick's Ford, he was fatally wounded by a Union marksman at the age of 41. Initially interred in Baltimore, Maryland, he was later moved to Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn, New York next to his wife and son. His 1st cousin, Confederate Brigadier General Richard B. Garnett, was killed during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania on July 3, 1863. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Family links: 
  Robert Selden Garnett (1789 - 1840)
  Charlotte Olympia De Gougea Garnett (1796 - 1856)
  Marianna Nelson Garnett (1832 - 1858)*
  Arthur Nelson Garnett (1858 - 1858)*
  Mary Hycinth Garnett (1815 - 1893)*
  Robert Selden Garnett (1819 - 1861)
  Alexander Somervail Garnett (1831 - 1907)*
*Calculated relationship
Green-Wood Cemetery
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Plot: Section 150, Lot 11584
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Aug 02, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 3294
Robert Selden Garnett
Added by: ronald deavy
Robert Selden Garnett
Added by: Russ Dodge
Robert Selden Garnett
Added by: Russ Dodge
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- Tweety
 Added: Apr. 4, 2017

- Darlene T.
 Added: Mar. 11, 2017
For service rendered the Confederacy during our American Civil War. May you rest in peace, General.
- Daniel Moran
 Added: Jul. 13, 2016
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