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 Lawrence O'Bryan Branch

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Lawrence O'Bryan Branch

  • Birth 28 Nov 1820 Enfield, Halifax County, North Carolina, USA
  • Death 17 Sep 1862 Sharpsburg, Washington County, Maryland, USA
  • Burial Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
  • Memorial ID 9859

Civil War Confederate Brigadier General, US Congressman. He was born in Enfield, North Carolina, and was a graduate of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Before his college career he was tutored by future Union Secretary of Treasury and Chief Justice of the United States, Salmon P. Chase. After his graduation he served as a newspaperman, a Florida lawyer, as a soldier in the Third Seminole War, and president of a railroad company. He was elected as a Democrat to represent North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1854 to 1860. When North Carolina left the Union, he accepted an appointment as Quartermaster and Paymaster of North Carolina state troops; later he resigned his rank for the Colonelcy of the 33rd North Carolina Infantry. On November 16, 1861, he was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed command of troops in the New Bern, North Carolina, area. In this command, he opposed a Union expedition under Major General Ambrose E. Burnside in late winter 1862. Burnside captured New Bern on March 14 and the town remained in Federal hands for the rest of the war. Confederate authorities then ordered he and his brigade to Virginia under command of Major General Ambrose Powelll Hill. Hill soon came to regard him highly as a commander, though the North Carolinian was not a professional soldier. He also respected Hill greatly, believing him to be more fit for command of the corps than Major General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. He considered General Jackson a great battle commander but an officer who allowed his men too little rest. The Seven Days' Campaign was the first test for him and his men under General Hill, and his soldiers fought and charged bravely, suffering more casualties than any other brigade except one. In mid-July General Hill's Light Division, which was now a part of General Jackson's command, marched to Gordonsville. At the August 8, 1862 Battle of Cedar Mountain, three weeks later, his Confederates led the division onto the field to save a hard pressed Jackson. The Second Bull Run Campaign followed, with 8 consecutive days of combat and exhausting marches. In the Confederate invasion of Maryland in September 1862, he participated in the capture of Harper's Ferry, Virginia, on the 15th. Two days later, while the Battle of Antietam raged, A.P. Hill drove his Light Division to the field. His brigade and two others arrived in time to repulse the final Union assault of the day in the fields south of the town. A short time later, A. P. Hill and Army of Northern Virginia commander General Robert E. Lee were conferring with General Branch and Brigadier Generals Maxcy Gregg, James J. Archer and Dorsey Pender, when a Federal sharpshooter, seeing the group, fired into it, shooting General Branch in the right cheek and through his left ear, killing him instantly.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 3 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9859
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lawrence O'Bryan Branch (28 Nov 1820–17 Sep 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9859, citing City Cemetery, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .