Brig. Gen. James J. Archer
Born December 19, 1817 at Bel Air MD
Captured July 1, 1863 at Gettysburg and held at Johnson's Island 1 year
Exchanged in late summer of 1864 in ill health
Died October 24, 1864 at Richmond VA
Buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond
Gen. James J. Archer
Pre-War Profession Lawyer, Mexican War, commissioned to US Army 1855, resigned May 1861. |
War Service 1861 Col. of 5th Texas, Peninsula campaign, Seven Pines, June 1862 Brig. Gen., commanded Tennessee Bde/Hill's Light Division in Seven Days, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, commanded Archer's Brigade/Heth's Division at Gettysburg (captured), exchanged 1864, briefly commanded 2 brigades, died as a result of continuing ill health.
Notes First General officer to be captured after Lee took command of the ANV.
A lawyer and Mexican War veteran, James Archer resigned his captain's commission in the regular army on March 14, 1861, to receive the same rank in the Confederate service two days later. Although a Marylander, Archer was appointed colonel, 5th Texas, a regiment organized in Richmond from independent companies, on October 2,1861. He commanded his regiment, and sometimes the brigade, at the batteries at Evansport along the Potomac and on the Peninsula in the actions at Eltham's Landing and Seven Pines. He was promoted brigadier general, CSA, June 3, 1862, and given command of Hatton's old brigade of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee troops (that officer having been killed at Seven Pines). The Georgians were eventually transferred out and replaced by more Alabamians, but the brigade became known as the Tennessee Brigade.
These units were members of Archer's Brigade at Seven Pines.
19th Georgia, Maj. J. H. Neal and Capt. F. M. Johnston
1st Tennessee (Provisional- Army ), Col. Peter Turney
7th Tennessee, Maj. S. G. Shepard and Lieut. G. A. Howard
14th Tennessee, Lieut. Col. J. W. Lockert
Commanding his brigade, Archer took part in actions at Beaver Dam Creek, Gaines' Mill, Frayser's Farm, Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run, the capture of Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. On the first day at Gettysburg he was picked up by an Irishman from the Union's Iron Brigade, becoming the first general captured from the Army of Northern Virginia since Lee took command.
While imprisoned at Johnson's Island, Ohio, Archer let the Confederate War Department know through a paroled prisoner that the guards could be overwhelmed but the Southerners would have no way of getting off the island. On June 21, 1864, Archer was ordered sent to Charleston Harbor to be placed under Confederate fire in retaliation for southern treatment of prisoners. Later exchanged, Archer was ordered to the Army of Tennessee for duty on August 9, 1864, but he was redirected to the Army of Northern Virginia 10 days later.
He was assigned command of his own as well as Walker's Brigades, which had been temporarily consolidated. Suffering from the effects of his imprisonment and the rigors of the Petersburg trenches, including the battle of Peebles' Farm, Archer died on October 24, 1864.
Fuzzleburg, Fritz. Prison Life During the Rebellion.