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 James Jay Archer

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James Jay Archer

Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. He was born in Bel Air, Maryland of a military family. A graduate from Princeton, he became a lawyer. He fought as a volunteer during the Mexican War, and was cited for gallantry at Chaoultepec afterwards returning to his law practice. Prior to the Civil War he joined the regular army with the rank of Captain. The outbreak of the war between the states, like many Southerners, he joined the ranks of the Confederates. He participated in many Southern campaigns: The Peninsula, Eltham's Landing, Seven Pines, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Shepardstown, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg achieving the rank of Brigadier General in route. Gettysburg was his waterloo. General Archer and most of his troops were defeated and captured. He became the first general officer to be taken since General Lee took command of the Confederate forces. He was confined to the prison at Johnson's Island located in Sandusky Bay near Marblehead, Ohio. He was sickly and very troublesome during his confinement. He managed to let the Confederate War Department know through a paroled prisoner that the guards could be overwhelmed by the prisoners but needed Southern help to escape the Island. The South had no resources to engage in such an operation deep in the North. After a year of confinement, General Archer, along with 600 other captured Officers confined at various prisons about the country were transferred to Ft. Delaware to be placed at Morris Island which was constantly being shelled by the South. They were left there as retaliation for Southern mistreatment of northern prisoners to endure the shelling. If they were killed, so much the better. Finally in an effort to obtain the release of Northern army officers and get some military advantage from the sick officer, he was exchanged. Back in Confederate lines, he was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia with a command of his own. Suffering from the effects of his many combat exploits, wounded several times, effects of his imprisonment and finally the rigors of the Petersburg trenches culminating in the battle at Pebbles Farm, he died in Richmond and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery on a gentle slope overlooking the James River.   (Bio by John R. Mark)


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 4 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9854
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Jay Archer (19 Dec 1817–24 Oct 1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9854, citing Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .