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Jubal Anderson Early
Jubal Early.jpg
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Franklin County
In office
Preceded byWyley P. Woods
Succeeded byNorborne Taliaferro
Personal details
Born(1816-11-03)November 3, 1816
Franklin County, Virginia, U.S.
DiedMarch 2, 1894(1894-03-02) (aged 77)
Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
Resting placeSpring Hill cemetery, Lynchburg
Political partyWhig
Alma materUnited States Military Academy
ProfessionMilitary officer, politician, Lawyer
Military service
Nickname(s)"Old Jube"
"Old Jubilee"
"Bad Old Man"
Allegiance United States of America (1837–1838, 1847–1848)
 Confederate States (1861–1865)
Seal of the United States Board of War and Ordnance.png
U.S. Army
 Confederate Army
Years of service1837–1838
Union army maj rank insignia.jpg
Major (U.S.)
Confederate States of America General-collar.svg
Major General (C.S.)
Confederate States of America General-collar.svg
Lieutenant General (temporary)
CommandsSecond Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Army of the Valley
Battles/warsSeminole Wars
Mexican–American War
American Civil War

Jubal Anderson Early (November 3, 1816 – March 2, 1894) was a Virginia lawyer and politician who became a Confederate general during the American Civil War. Trained at the United States Military Academy, Early resigned his U.S. Army commission after the Second Seminole War and his Virginia military commission after the Mexican–American War, in both cases to practice law and participate in politics. Accepting a Virginia and later Confederate military commission as the American Civil War began, Early fought in the Eastern Theater throughout the conflict. He commanded a division under Generals Stonewall Jackson and Richard Ewell, and later commanded a corps. A key Confederate defender of the Shenandoah Valley, during the Valley Campaigns of 1864, Early made daring raids to the outskirts of Washington, D.C., as well as far as York, Pennsylvania, securing money and supplies which delayed the Confederate surrender for several months. After the war, Early fled to Mexico, then Cuba and Canada, and upon returning to the United States took pride as "unrepentant rebel". Particularly after the death of Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1870, Early delivered speeches establishing the Lost Cause, as well as helped found the Southern Historical Society and memorial associations.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Jubal Early and the Molding of Confederate Memory (Lecture)
  • ✪ The Battle of Monocacy: The Fight that Saved Washington D.C.
  • ✪ What if the South managed to capture D.C?
  • ✪ Recollections of Fighting for the Confederacy: One of the Richest Personal Accounts (2000)
  • ✪ Jubal Early and the Drive to the Susquehanna River - PROMO


Jubal Early and the Lost Cause believe this I forget what the official title of this thing was in your brochures. I can't remember so I just put Profit of the Lost Cause. I thought some people might like the word profit over there but basically what Jubal Early is going to do is he is going to be a key player in the postwar years, meaning in memory. And that is a big thing among academics. Memory. The word memory. They want to study how people remember things, and how things are interpreted in and so forth and you've probably heard in the Civil War jargon that the South may have lost the war but they definitely won the history books or something along those lines. Well old Jube is one of the big catalyst for that so we're going to look into that and see why that is and if you look in the Encyclopedia of the Confederacy, some of you may have that four or five volumes, right there, if you look under the letter E the first entry that you will see in the Encyclopedia of the Confederacy is Jubal Early and I always thought when I open that up to get some biographical information I thought that was apropos, that he would be first. He really doesn't need any introduction. All of you Gettysburg buffs know him by name or by reputation which we'll talk about in a minute but Jubal Early was quote unquote Lee's bad old man he was an unreformed bachelor he was somebody that freely stated his opinion sometimes when it was asked for and most of the time when it was not right here and he was reportedly the only man that had the audacity to swear in front of Robert E Lee you can imagine doing that and that is why he was referred to by Lee as my bad old man right here Old Jube he's quite a character often thought you know when that when that generic question is posed if you had a time machine who would you go back who would you go back and have dinner with who he would be high on my list right you know that won't be picked up on camera its fantastic alright so to show you a little bit about his character maybe not show you a little bit about his character Does anybody know before I tell you where what this guy symbolizes to me does anybody know what usually is underneath him the south will rise again or forget hell no that's right when I was a kid the church took us down I think we went to Disney World or something don't quote me that we were going down to Florida and back in the seventies and I'll never forget I could never get over all the confederate stuff you want to call it that for sale in all these trinkets stores along the way in Florida right there and I still have my sticker right there but I didn't have I didn't have anything else to illustrate this point right here so I thought he was apropos in 1890 remember this is way after the war it was twenty-five years after the war toward his final days Early's final days General George Crook was more famous I think for Indian fighting than the Civil War came to see Early in Lynchburg Virginia and Crook recorded "while waiting we met General Early he has much stooped and feeble but as bitter and violent as an adder he has no use for the government or the northern people and boast of his being unreconstructed in that he won't accept a pardon for his rebellious offenses he is living entirely in the past" what does that tell you it's gonna be a theme here Jubal Early is going to be completely living in the past and he will never forget the past now Jubal Early is stands over six foot kind of a striking figure but despite his height he was stooped by rheumatism during the war one sold remarked that Jubal Early would spend all night the saddle quote "for he has the rheumatism so bad that if he once gets out of the saddle he can't get into it again" another soldier described him as quote "one of the great curiosity curiosities of the war he is a man of considerable corporacity" notice he didn't say glib "with a full face which has the appearance of a full moon when at its height his voice sounds like a cracked Chinese fiddle and comes from his mouth with a long drawl" good southern drawl "accompanied by the inner loption of os- he is as brave as he is homely and is homely a man as any man you ever saw" he's born Old Jube is born on November 3rd 1816 at Rocky Mount in Franklin County Virginia probably known more today from hit TV series Moonshiners right there ok during the war i watch it all the time during the war one soldier remarked that let me back up Early is gonna enter United States Military Academy West Point in 1833 and he's going to graduate four years later in 1837 his class included Joe Hooker the Union General future Union General John C Pemberton who is that? Vicksburg Its a quiz a lot of you came to that presentation and Uncle John will be the Union General Sedgewick right there alright but not before he did not graduate before Armistead and what did Armistead do to Early at West Point? that's right he broke a plate over Jubal Early's head and for that Lewis Armistead of Gettysburg fame was expelled now Early is going to resign his commission in 1838 but he is going to return to serve in the Mexican War where he contracted the rheumatism I have talked about that would plague him and instead after that and said he would resign again I suppose or in civil life after that Early will become a lawyer so if you think about Jubal Early and you wanna know where he's coming up with his arguments or how he makes it so well law is his background military and law what a better fit could you have for somebody who needs to fight battles and then argue about them afterwards so he's a lawyer I once heard about a poor lawyer did you ever hear about that it was a town that had a poor lawyer until one day another lawyer moved to town then there were two rich lawyers now in 1861 that will be edited out too in 1861 Franklin County elected him to be one of the delegates to the secession convention that's the document obviously probably surprisingly to some of you will be a surprise to some of you that Early was a staunch unionist very staunch unionist at the convention he earned the nickname quote "the Terrapin from Franklin" for his slow evolution to the southern side Early believed in the supremacy of the US Constitution and it influences a large reason why Virginia remained in the Union as long as it did you recall that Virginia did not secede until Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers That's when Virginia left even after Fort Sumter though and the call for the volunteers Jubal Early is still going to vote to remain in the Union and you do not know how hard I worked on blowing this document up on the left side you have the yeas on the right side you have the nays and you will clearly see right here that there is a check mark on the final role for secession with Jubal Early voting NO to leave the Union so but when Lincoln did call for those troops Early completely did a flip flop I don't think many people as an aside I think people sometimes fail to realize how that galvanized a lot of moderates or or people that wanted to remain in the Union when they heard that Lincoln was sending the troops and that a lot of people going into the southern the Confederate Army Early felt that it was the right to prevent the right of the states by the state authorities to repel any invasion any doubts that Early had about secession quote "were soon dispelled by the unconstitutional measures of the authorities of Washington and the frenzy clamor of the people of the North for war upon their former brethren of the south" as he put it in the postwar years Early would point to his pro-union stance and would justify secession by comparison to the Revolutionary War Early claimed the same right for the states as the colonies did against Great Britain however Early believe the states have more right to secession Early believed the states had more right to secession then the colonies ever did because the states were sovereign entities that it conceived quote "the government of which they complained so he thought they were more on a legal footing with the as far as secession in the colonies had been like my rights now this is you know Early threw himself wholeheartedly into the war here's a quick biography our point here today is not really to study the words to study the aftermath so I'll gloss over it he earned his first star for his actions at Bull Run he was wounded at the Battle of Williamsburg Virginia May of 62 and he''ll return for Malvern Hill, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas and Harpers Ferry Both Jackson and Lee praised his leadership at the Battle Sharpsburg and at Fredericksburg now at Gettysburg Early will always be united with Richard Ewell's decision not to try to take Cemetery Hill on the first day of the battle a lot of what we know about the conversations that went on between the Confederate Chiefs as the sun set on Gettysburg comes from Early the problem with that is that Early was a lawyer ok so it depends you know and I say that and I shouldn't pick on Early too much but it's really I've said this before it's really a shame that how many people had so much to tell us but yet they had an axe to grind in some way form or the other Early will probably disagree with that statement he would tell you he was telling the truth but that's the way it goes right here but Early is going to be one of the chief recorders of that now on July 2nd as you remember you Gettysburg buffs his division is going to attack East what we call East Cemetery Hill right over here that's going to be Hays and Avery and he will not be supported on his right the Confederate right flank by Robert Rhodes attacking from behind the McDonalds right back there alright and supposedly warm words were passed between Early and Rhodes after the engagement that night on July 2nd at least a newspaper reporter recorded that he didn't say a Confederate officer considered Early to be quote "one of the ablest and wittiest of our generals of quaint dry humor grinning like a possum his voice an old woman's thin high tenor always joking someone and always the butt of a joke." given temporary commands of both Hill and Ewell's corps separate times in the Overland campaigns that's 1864 Early took over the permanent commander of Richard Ewell's corps upon that commander being relieved by Lee in the summer of 64 he received an independent command in the Shenandoah Valley Upon personally arriving in Lynchburg right before the Union cavalry took the town itself remember that Early is going to save Lynchburg Early raised himself in the saddle as he arrived upon the field and hollered across quote "ain't no buttermilk Rangers after you now you god damn blue butts" I can't do it as high pitched that'll be edited out too John Paul Strain I believe painted that Now Early found initial success in the in the valley even getting to the gates of Washington before getting turned back that's gonna be the Battle of Monocacy and Phil Sheridan then took command of the Union forces and long story short proceeded to kick Old Jube's tail for the rest of 64 places like 3rd Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek all defeats for Jubal Early many people blamed Early's defeats on his drinking which he was not a teetotaler but I think this is patently false I think it's lost on a lot of people though how and this is going to blend into the post-war years so I want to make this point I'll come back to Early's military wisdom in just a second but do not fail to recognize how loyal Jubal Early was to Robert E Lee and I mean that even though I make a lot of jokes and he's a funny character sarcasm and so for Jubal Early loved Robert E Lee and would do anything he could to please his commander if Lee wanted something to do like he had just I'll give you an example after 3rd Winchester Fisher's Hill, he gets thrown back across the valley don't quote me think Lee sends in Wilcox's division or maybe its Kershaw's division but anyway he said he sends him some reinforcements and Lee writes to him he says this is all I can give you you must do the most you can with the little that you have and that's Cedar Creek if you if you look up Cedar Creek you'll see what Early did and that is all being by Lee galvanizing Early's action look at what Lee wants Lee can't be everywhere he's got to have a commander that can think independently and Jubal Early despite a lot of flaws can make a decision and is an aggressive commander so I think both men actually appreciated each other Early recognized quote "that he was never what is called a popular man" despite that Lee place the faith in Jubal and Jubal reciprocated tenfold after a final defeat at the Battle Waynesboro on March 2nd 1865 Robert E Lee is going to remove Early from command and out of all the laurels that he gained in the war the one thing that Jubal like to show visitors in the postwar years was the letter from Robert E Lee removing him from command if you came to see Jubal Early that's what you would see right there alright and in this Robert E Lee if you want to see how to paint it Jubal actually published it in his memoirs at the end if you want to see how to write a letter letting somebody down Robert E Lee can teach you how to do that I'll read you a brief excerpt - "my telegram will inform you that I deem a change of commanders in your department necessary ; but it is due to your zealous and patriotic services that I should explain the reasons that prompted my action." Lee then goes on to say that the country basically has lost faith in Jubal Early after all of his setbacks. "I have reluctantly arrived at the conclusion that you cannot command the united willing cooperation which is so essential to success while my own confidence in your ability zeal and devotion to the cause is unimpaired" notice he said the cause - this is in 1865 - the cause - this is not something invented the words are not something in the postwar years "while your devotion to the cause is unimpaired I've never less felt that I could not oppose what seems to be the current of opinion without injustice to your reputation in injury to the service I therefore felt constrained to endeavor to find a commander who would be more likely to develop the strengths and resources of the country and inspire the soldiers with confidence and to accomplish this purpose I thought it proper to yield to my own opinion and to defer to that of those to whom alone we can look for support." He goes on, "I am sure that you will understand and appreciate my motives" Lee writes him, "and no one will be more ready than yourself to acquiesce in any measures which the interest of the country may seem to require regardless of all personal considerations thank you for the" - he closes this way - " thank you for the fidelity and energy with which you have always supported my efforts and for the courage and devotion you have ever manifested in the service of the country." and that's the way you fire somebody at least that's the way you get fired by Robert E Lee the remarkable thing about it is most of time Robert E Lee didn't write people you had to be up there you know he didn't write colonels when he relieved now after Lee surrendered Early didn't wait around to surrender himself but let out for Texas and reportedly Confederate forces were still fighting there and Early was bound to join them finding Texas played out though and the Confederacy at an end he decided quote "to get out from under the rule of the infernal Yankees I cannot live under the same government with our enemies I go there for a voluntary exile from the home and graves of my ancestors to seek my fortunes anew in the new world Early therefore continued on to Mexico where he hoped to find another war against the United States brewing remember France was down there He just wants to fight more Yankees when that didn't pan out Early eventually took a steamer to Canada and settled across the water from Niagara Falls while there he read about the policies being enacted against the South and declared at one point quote "I got to the condition that I think I could scalp a Yankee woman and child without winking my eyes in 1866 he wrote a memoir of the last year of the war for independence which did not sell well as well as he hoped but keep in mind 1866 he is one of the first Confederate generals one of the chief lieutenants to get his story out there with President Andrew Johnson's Amnesty Proclamation I couldn't find Early' signature. why? becuase he never signed one right there Early never less returned to Virginia in 1869 and settled into a law practice again Early never accepted a pardon. Oh no. quote "ooking upon this proclamation is in the final acknowledgement by the government of it's inability to hold us responsible under the laws and constitution as they stood for our resistance to their usurpations and encroachments, I accepted in the in that light and not as a pardon for any offence committed I think I can now return without any compromise of principal and it is certainly a great deal better for me to do so then remain a burden in the hands of friends who have to submit to the ills of a Yankee rule in order to be able to furnish the means on which I live." He is not bitter here's the thing but he needs a job he's gonna get a job and who is the guy on the right? in 1877 early took a position as a commissioner with PGT Beauregard of Louisiana state lottery you wouldn't take the job? I'd probably take the job. I think he got an annual salary of $10,000 at least at one point not too bad now the Louisiana Lottery how many you bought a lottery ticket for tomorrow or tonight? it's tonight isn't it? well, you just wasted your money because here's the winner you gonna come back next time its gonna be the Matt Atkinson Auditorium buffet, smorgasbord, white gloves. There you go. I was sitting with this person other night we were sitting in Subway and she's supposed to split it with me if she wins I'm like we're going over how we're going to spend this money and she's gonna build a new church I said heck no we ain't building no church we gonna get a limo. That didn't work out either I guess it's gonna be the Matt Atkinson church That will be something. Alright so anyway I'm digressing. I probably have ADD but I don't treat it because that's half the fun. The Louisiana Lottery was a lottery unlike today's lottery that it's sort of the same I mean a lottery is a lottery but it was it was a lot of back-door stuff going on I will not say that because Jubal Early and I should say this for Beauregard and Early I wouldn't say that the lottery was dirty was playing dirty pool however the lottery had some questionable practices such as the lottery sometimes will buy their own tickets so when they won the prize they didn't have to pay out you think about that so what would happen is Jubal Early about once a month will board the train from Lynchburg Virginia and he would ride down there and him and Beauregard would get on the stage and they had a big wheel like like what you guys cylinder yeah thats name for it and it had a door on so what they would do is cranked it around had all the lottery tickets in their and Early would reach inside the cylinder and retrieve the number he would say the number and then he would hold it up to the crowd to ensure that there was no fraud going on they would then they would draw like forty or fifty prizes and then after they had done the numbers Beauregard would come up and they would have a separate cylinder and Beauregard would reach into this cylinder and draw out the prize and some of these prizes just like the lottery that's going on tonight you know was that seven or eight hundred million is being drawn tonight some of these you know we'll get up to $100,000 that is an astronomical amount of money for the time period but nobody ever won it but they people did win I mean you know five ten thousand something like that so anyway Early's getting a piece of the pie because he's given it legitimacy right there what you need to know is far as the Lost cause is what we're about to go into is that the lottery salary the important part for what we're doing here today is the lottery salary allowed Jubal Early the freedom to devote his time to writing and that's how he's going to because he didn't have to worry about making a living now getting into the subject matter here what is the Lost Cause that's the only slide that does that so i cant I feel I can overemphasize that right there and they don't know how I did that what is the Lost Cause? well that's a hard thing to answer a lost cause I don't know I mean how do you like shorten that answer the short answer might be is that the Lost Cause is the postwar arguments of southerners and why they fought and that's a very broad brush I'm painting right there today's debate about the Lost Cause is over whether those arguments were true or not the name the Lost Cause comes from the ever popular book The Lost Cause this a standard southern history of the war of the Confederacy was published in 1866 and this espoused the southern point of view what is already showed you and Robert E Lee's letter to Early firing him the the Lost Cause was not something that was invented by Pollard it was just you know most famous book to come out opponents of the Lost Cause lists a number of different grievances against the southern arguments and it's hard to jail all the opponents arguments together so I decided to do the best I could and what I went out to do is I sat down and I had all these people that all these historians that attack the Lost Cause and arguments and everything that came up with it and so I sat there at my desk and I said who is the person who hates the Confederacy the most is that would give me credibility because I'm from the south so you can't blame me I'm quoting the guy so the guy I came up with and he actually does makes a susinct argument is a gentleman named Alan T. Nolan and he wrote an essay it went to Gary Gallagher's essay books about the Lost Cause and so I took his views on it and put those up here now I come from a different mindset than some people I'm not saying all people are like this etc. I'm going to give you the arguments this is going to be a radical new old idea for you you're going to have to make up your own mind whether you agree with them or not remember when you used to have independent thinking right here my gosh yeah somebody asked me says neither here nor there not about this but they asked me why do you think that way I said was what my eyes told me so anyway tenets of the Lost Cause right here now I tried I could not find anybody on the staff that could make the bullet points slide in so you're not getting that ok first one slavery was not the sectional issue the war wasn't over slavery according to the tenets of the southern historians of the Lost Cause the war was over state's rights alright so you already know see Early was successful the abolitionist as provocateurs northern abolitionists manufactured a disagreement between the sections in other words the abolitionists were the ones that stirred up all the trouble they were minority in the north and yet they managed to get the north to go to war the nature of slaves Pollard in the book the Lost Cause says quote "the occasion of that conflict was what the Yankees called by one of their convenient libels in political nomenclature slavery but what was in fact nothing more than a system of Negro servitude in the South one of the mildest in most beneficent system of servitude in the world." nobody's going to touch that one but what do the southerners argue they actually argued that slavery was a benefit I don't know how anybody would agree with it but that is one of the arguments the nationalistic cultural difference this is the Cavaliers and nights of old view of the Civil War in 1860 the Southern Literary Messenger is before the Civil War in the Southern Literary Messenger described northerners is being descended from anglo-saxons the anglo-saxons were conquered by William the Conqueror and the Normans the Southern Literary Messenger claim that southerners to be descended from Normans all right now there are cultural differences ok there are you can like go through their I invite you to like to spend an hour or two volunteering for me at the front door and you will see cultural differences ok I see it every day welcome up to the front desk and sometimes my fellow Americans my fellow Northerners I walk away from the front desk from an from talking to you all and I think to myself my gosh I know why the war began now military loss "the Confederates had not really been defeated they had instead been overwhelmed by massive northern manpower and material" well the idealized home front everybody pulled toward the same goal and all supported the Confederacy wholeheartedly the biggest monument in the state of Mississippi easily to the Confederacy is the statue on the capitol grounds in Mississippi and it is actually dedications monument is actually dedicated to the women of the Confederacy and the sacrifices so the idealized homefront next one is the idealized Confederate soldier "heroic indefatigable gallant and law-abiding" "in many ways he was the principal victim of the Lost Cause myth" Nolan surprisingly adds I like this by him I'll say it again in many ways he was the principal victim of the Lost Cause Myth "nor do I contend" Nolan says "that the majority of Confederate soldiers believed they were fighting to preserve slavery in fact they were but many of them thought in terms of defending their homeland and families and resisting what their leaders had told them was northern aggression so he's making the argument the government may have supported slavery but probably the average southern soldiers did not directly the lawfulness of secession saints go marching in which we're going to touch on a minute which involves the beatification big word for you beatification of Lee, Jackson, and the others is there anybody else besides Lee and Jackson now what do you think so what do you think of that that's a lot of points you know and I'm not looking for a roundtable discussion I'm just looking to give Caitlin a hard time filming me right now so I just keep pacing all the way over here to the corner so what do you think those are arguments that are summed up by the southerners now you probably don't agree with them all but do you agree with some of them and would you say what some of them are probably lies or bending the truth I guess to a certain extent but would you say that the majority of them are untrue or are we simply saying that the southerners are emphasizing something one point of the war over another point of the war I don't tell you what's right or wrong answer here right here but as you know it has become very hot the subject of the Confederacy lately and especially anything related to the Confederacy now Early getting back to him is going to be one of the top defenders of what is called the Lost Cause with the war over in the south in shambles Early would write "the true and brave soldier who suffers defeat while fighting for a just cause at the hands of a vindictive enemy and therefore suffers the agonies of a thousand deaths indeed a real death too many would be preferable think about that Jubal Early's gonna be emphasizing different points but what did Jubal Early's eyes tell him during the war what did Jubal Early see during the war I mean for instance do any of yall recall what was called this will test you Civil War knowledge to recall what was called the the burning in the Shenandoah Valley in 64 Early arrives in Lynchburg around that time I believe David Hunter is involved in that Union General side and basically long story short that's going to allow Early to march all the way into that. Indirectly the burnings in the Shenandoah Valley are going to be gin up the retaliation which is going to take place by the Confederates right beside us in Chambersburg in 1864. The Confederates will burn that town in retaliation for the things that have been done in the Shenandoah Valley Early is seeing this and he's seen a lot of smaller stuff on a daily basis I mean this is what his eyes are telling him now the Southern Historical Society papers was organized in New Orleans in 1869 the Southern Historical Society paper sought to preserve "the true history of the Civil War one that emphasize that honor and nobility of the Confederate cause." initially the society did not garner more than a hundred members so to jump-start membership the group met at White Sulphur Springs in today's West Virginia in 1873 Jubal Early was elected President. If I say SHSP you know Southern Historic Society Papers. The SHSP starts publishing in 1876 ironic though I found this interesting that the peak circulation there was only around 1,500 members I thought there'd be a lot more but despite setting up auxiliary chapters in other Southern states too in 1885 publication went from monthly to annually so it was never really that big as far as it's circulation but the papers helped develop and present southern veterans points of view an advertisement in the SHSP asserted "our papers interesting to all lovers of historic truth and simply INVALUABLE to those who desire to see vindicated the name and fame of those who made our great struggle for constitutional freedom." not a bias publication at all as you can see articles primarily concentrated on three things on the greatness of Lee, the fight against overwhelming northern resources in men, and in the early days of the publication the tardiness of James Longstreet at Gettysburg. more about all that later after 1910 volumes only appeared sporadically Douglas Southall Freeman took over as editor in 1926 and published the proceedings of the Confederate Congress the last volume from the SHSP came out in 1952 and with Freeman's death in 1953 the SHSP archives was donated to the Virginia Historical Society backing up a little bit as SHSP will become the organ for Early's voice. in a prior letter to Robert E Lee in 1866 Early said "the most that has left us is the history of our struggle and I think that ought to be accurately written we lost nearly everything but honor and that should be religiously guarded and harking back to my earlier points about what Confederate veterans in the postwar years when Early became president of the SHSP in 1873 the publication would start really popunding in those three main things I said earlier Robert E Lee, northern resources, and James Longstreet. let's look at the first thing Confederate soldiers being far superior to their opponents this idea you know how hard I had work to find that picture type in confederates superior to northern and see what you come up with the idea that Early would put forth is that southerners came from a superior race and that northerners were descended from an inferior perhaps akin to Mongral race of "Yankees, negroes, germans, and Irish." think about covered everybody and this argument was juxtaposed with the greater population numbers of the north and then and their industrial might and this lent itself to the argument "might does not make right" and the Confederates could still claim the moral high ground the South "have been gradually worn down by the combined agencies of numbers, steam power, railroads, mechanisms, and all the resources of physical science " All this "finally produced that exhaustion of our army and resources and that accumulation of numbers on the other side that Roth the final disaster." Early took personal exception when northern writers who portrayed the two armies is numerically close and reviewing the war Early mocked Union General George McClellan's tendency to overestimate Lee's numerical strength saying "I might multiply the instances of the attempts of our enemies to falsify the truth of history in order to excuse their manifold failures, and to conceal the inferiority of their troops and all the elements of manhood, but I will become too tedious." you know the one thing I like about the show is I get to read these nice quotes to you when Adam Badeau Grant's military secretary in the late war period wrote the London Standard newspaper that U.S. Grant's Army at the start of 1864 spring campaign was 98,000 and Robert E Lee had 72,000 Early had a conniption Early retorted it was more like a 141,000 to 50,000 thousand the actual numbers were probably closer 220,000 60,000 Early proclaimed that the southern people "were overpowering crushed in a struggle for their rights" and he wrote the newspaper that they had only history to appeal for for vindication now Grant of course cannot be the equal of Lee. Early held Grant up to be the ultimate symbol of northern supremacy a man that had no strategy at all only brute force behind him all things being equal Lee would have bested Grant on any field according to Early Early gested the Grant's title for a book on strategy should be "The Lincoln Grant" or "Pegging Hammer Art of War." speaking of Lee now I put in I put in Google Robert E Lee saint and then I didn't get anything I put in deity and I didn't get anything so so I was surprised and so the only thing I could come up with is this is the cross picture what's so funny about that? That wasn't no joke great program that brings us to our second theme the beatification of Lee from Alan T. Nolan's list Early and numerous southern writers sought to elevate Lee to a Christ-like status the anointing came in the form of a speech Early made at Washington and Lee University on the anniversary of Lee's birthday in 1872 Early took a chronological look at the campaigns Lee had fought each opponent took a each opponent he faced was given short shrift from McClellan to Pope to Hooker the man who did defeat him Grant was a sale with the argument already illustrated of superior numbers and resources bracing for this word even the mag magnanimity of Grant at Appomattox garnered no praise from Early Appomattox only demonstrated Lee's "superiority over his antagonist and all the qualities of a great captain of the Confederate soldier over the northern. General Lee had not been conquered in battle but surrendered because he had no longer an army with which to give battle." but Lee was defeated by U. S. Grant so you got something you need to explain right there so how do you explain it who ultimately led to Robert E Lee being defeated? Longstreet now Longstreet is going to be attacked on three fronts first he should have attacked earlier on July 2nd here at Gettysburg that's the sunrise order we discount that today but do not discount how big a deal that was in the 1870 and 1880s I mean it that that sunrise order argument or myth whatever you wanna call it got so big that Jefferson Davis and is in his two volumes Rise and Fall of the Confederacy he referred to when he got to Gettysburg he referred to the SHSP because there was nothing else to say about the argument. the sunrise order it was just the gospel truth is second thing Longstreet was attacked on which he criticized Robert E Lee while defending his actions third Longstreet on a personal note had committed an apostasy by becoming a catholic and joining the republican party what is the South democrat while relating his narrative about the war when the subject of Gettysburg came up Early stated that during the Battle Lee wished for longstreet "to begin the attack at dawn the next morning" of course you can guess the next argument if Longstreet would have attacked iat dawn so says Early Little Round Top would have been undefended Early also made the assertion that during Pickett's Charge the Confederate assault was not properly supported now here do we have a lecture on the second wave believe we do the second charge obviously Robert E Lee did not make any dawn attack order and even some of Lee staff officers Charles Venable and Charles Marshall repudiated it in 1872 but the next year 1873 William Pendleton Lee's chief of artillery here made the same assertion during the birthday speech at W&L University again and that's how the legend in the dawn attack really began to take hold the ensuing controversy unfolded over the next several years and Early upped the ante for years later in 1877 in the pages of the SHSP "we unequivocally stated the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg was Longstreet's fault. not Stuart, Ewell or even himself it was James Longstreet. Fitz Lee, William Allen, Walter Taylor ,then followed with other articles reinforcing Early's accusations Longstreet did not stand idle he would write an article to the Philadelphia weekly towns in 1877 entitled Lee in Pennsylvania in this he accused Lee "losing the matchless equipos that usually characterized him that whatever mistakes were made were not so much matters of delivered judgment as the impulses of a great mind disturbed by unparallel conditions." Longstreet further stated that Lee's remark the end of Pickett's Charge that "it has been all my fault" was said in the context that he should have never left the tactical defensive policy agreed with with Longstreet before the campaign now you think about that the paragraph I just read do you think about how that hit the southern veterans right here Longstreet is missing a huge point and that point is despite being a wounded Confederate veteran owned and Lee's chief lieutenant in the only one still living by the way Longstreet failed to see how firmly the memory of Lee had become unassailable these things get it he also made the cardinal sin of making himself Robert E Lee's equal on the field of battle in strategy etc wrong time in the wrong place When Longstreet published those articles surprisingly JuablEarly had the whole article reprinted in the SHSP in this magnanimous act Early let Longstreet damn himself as own words and Longstreet was not finished though he promptly wrote another article for the Philadelphia Times in March of 1878 whoring Early's quote ill natured and splenetic attacks everybody listening this on youtube that their computer splenetic I'll go down the water cooler be like you're so splenetic well guess what JuablEarly had that article promptly reprinted in SHSP and ripped that to shreds to an 1880s Longstreet wrote for articles for the Century Magazine that were later reprinted in Battles and Leaders although invited by the editors Early did not respond to these The SHSP test period done its job and Longstreet's reputation lay in tatters Longstreet's death in 1904 less than 5% of the United Confederate Veteran chapters approve resolutions of tribute to James Longstreet that's how thorough Jubal Early destroyed him now a lot of you Gettysburg buffs that have been interested in this battlefield along time can remember when they were raising funds for the erection of a monument to James Longstreet what year was it 92 93 here and ride out here and what was their campaign slogan it's time it's about time ok where is that go back to that my name it never gets corrected because it didn't have any support while the Confederate Veterans were alive and that is a large part due to do Jubal Early that coincides with the rise of Robert E Lee in the fall of James Longstreet speaking of that ladies and gentlemen as I include here it's hard to think that one man can have that much influence own one thing like southern history or you know the the way that we remember and so forth but Jubal Early is going to be that man it unto himself I urge you if you have a chance I don't know if you watch for you or you I guess I consume information like I read information for instance I got kicked out of the best office in the whole bill they kick me down the basement in the library yeah so anyway I'm down in the basement and I'm surrounded by buy books which is that you know make lemonade out of lemons and I've got nine thousand volumes each one of them is slightly different if I pull out those books and I have a book if I'm preparing a program I'll unfold three or four books and each one of them have all opened it once and each one will be slightly different and then I have to make a judgment which one i think is correct and then since I've been doing that so long since I've been doing that so long I translate that into my personal life people tell me stories automatically thinking wow how could that be true you know or sit down I watch the news and I think what does this person bias right here so I urge you going back to the original point when somebody tells you something when you're studying the American Civil War and you take something for granted because you've heard it so many times why don't you take a fresh look at it why don't you make up your own mind you but Early would not like that well depends on how you made up your mind right there ok but I hate that I feel that you know along with the new getting off on a tangent here but the news and so forth you know whatever happened to neutral neutrality alright you think I wanted to read Alan T. Nolan to you you really think I name my kid after Robert E Lee but I did it because that's the fair thing to do they give you both sides of the coin right there and everything that early said was not true but everything that Jubal Early said was not untrue either and that is what I leave for you to ponder here today what is true and what is untrue an unreconstructed rebel to the in Jubal Early would die on March 2nd 1894 southern veteran Robert Stiles wrote that "no man ever took up his pen to write a line about the great conflict without the fear of Jubal Early before his eyes." ladies and gentlemen Jubal Early thank you very much


Early and family life

Early's childhood home in northeastern Franklin County
Early's childhood home in northeastern Franklin County

Early was born on November 3, 1816 in the Red Valley section of Franklin County, Virginia, third of ten children of Ruth (née Hairston) (1794–1832) and Joab Early (1791–1870). The Early family was well-established and well-connected in the area, either one of the First Families of Virginia, or linked to them by marriage as they moved westward toward the Blue Ridge Mountains from Virginia's Eastern Shore. His great grandfather, Col. Jeremiah Early (1730-1779) of Bedford County, Virginia bought an iron furnace in Rocky Mount (in what became Franklin County) with his son-in-law Col. James Calloway, but soon died. He willed it to his sons Joseph, John and Jubal Early (for whom this Jubal A. Early would be named). Of those men, only John Early (1773–1833) would live long and prosper—he sold his interest in the furnace and bought a plantation from his father-in-law in Albemarle County, so Earlysville, Virginia was named after him shortly after this Jubal Early's birth further south along the Blue Ridge foothills.[2] Jubal Early (for whom the baby Jubal was named) only lived a couple of years after his marriage. His young sons Joab (this Early's father) and Henry became wards of Col. Samuel Hairston (1788–1875), a major landowner in southwest Virginia, and in 1851 reputedly the richest man in the South, worth $5 million in land and enslaved people.[3][4][5]

Joab Early would marry his mentor's daughter, as well as like him (and his own son, this Jubal Early) serve in the Virginia House of Delegates part-time (1824–1826) and become the county sheriff and lead its militia, all while managing his extensive tobacco plantation of more than 4,000 acres using enslaved labor.[6] His eldest son Samuel Henry Early (1813–1874) became a prominent manufacturer of salt using enslaved labor in the Kanawha Valley (of what became West Virginia during the American Civil War), and would also become a Confederate officer. Samuel H. Early married Henrian Cabell (1822–1890) and their daughter Ruth Hairston Early (1849–1928) would become a prominent writer, member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and preservationist in Lynchburg, which became her family's home before the American Civil War and this Jubal Early's base during his final decades.[7] His slightly younger brother Robert Hairston Early (1818–1882) also served as a Confederate officer during the Civil War but moved to Missouri.

Jubal Early had the wherewithal to attend local private schools in Franklin County, as well as more advanced private academies in Lynchburg and Danville. He was deeply affected by his mother's death in 1832. The following year, his father and Congressman Nathaniel Claiborne secured a place in the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York for young Early, citing his particular aptitude for science and mathematics. He passed probation and became the first boy from Franklin County to enter the military academy.[8] Early graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837, ranked 18th of 50 graduating cadets and sixth among its engineering graduates.[9] During his tenure at the Academy, fellow cadet Lewis Addison Armistead broke a mess plate over Early's head, which prompted Armistead's departure from the Academy, although he too would become an important Confederate officer.[10] Other future generals in that 1837 class were Union generals Joseph Hooker (with whom Early would have a verbal mess hall altercation over slavery), John Sedgwick and William H. French, as well as future Confederate generals Braxton Bragg, John C. Pemberton, Arnold Elzey and William H. T. Walker. Future generals whose time also overlapped with Early's included P.G.T. Beauregard, Richard Ewell, Edward "Allegheny" Johnson, Irwin McDowell and George Gordon Meade.[11]

Early military, legal and political careers

Upon graduating from West Point, Early received a commission as a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery regiment. Assigned to fight against the Seminole in Florida, he was disappointed that he never even saw a Seminole and merely heard "some bullets whistling among the trees" not close to his position. His elder brother Samuel counseled him to finish his statutory one-year obligation, then return to civilian life. Thus Early resigned from the Army for the first time in 1838, later commenting that if notice of a promotion that reached him in Louisville during his return to Virginia had come earlier, he might have withheld that letter of resignation.[12]

Early studied law with local attorney Norborne M. Taliaferro and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1840. Franklin County voters the next year elected Early as one of their delegates in the Virginia House of Delegates (a part-time position); he was a Whig and served one term alongside Henry L. Muse from 1841 to 1842.[13] After redistricting reduced Franklin County's representation, his mentor (but Democrat) Norborne M. Taliaferro was elected to succeed him (and would be re-elected many times until 1854, as well as become a local judge).[14] Meanwhile, voters elected Early Talliaferro's successor as Commonwealth's attorney (prosecutor) for both Franklin and Floyd Counties; he would be re-elected and serve until 1852, apart from leading other Virginia volunteers during the Mexican–American War as noted below.[15]

During the Mexican–American War (despite the opposition of prominent Whig Henry Clay to that war), Early volunteered and received a commission as a Major with the 1st Virginia Volunteers. During Early's time at West Point, he had considered resigning in order to fight for Texas' independence, but had been dissuaded by his father and elder brother.[16] He served from 1847 to 1848, although his Virginians arrived too late to see battlefield combat. Major Early was assigned to logistics, as inspector general on the brigade's staff under West Pointers Col. John F. Hamtramck[17] and Lt. Col. Thomas B. Randolph, and later helped govern the town of Monterrey, bragging that the good conduct of his men won universal praise and produced better order in Monterrey than ever before, as well as that by the time they were mustered out of service at Fort Monroe, many of his men conceded that they had misjudged him at the beginning. While in Mexico, Early met Jefferson Davis, who commanded the first Mississippi Volunteers, and they exchanged compliments. During the winter in damp northern Mexico, Early also experienced the first attacks of rheumatoid arthritis which would plague him the rest of his life, and was even sent home for three months to recover.[18]

However, his legal career was not particularly remunerative when he returned, although Early did win an inheritance case in Lowndes County, Mississippi. He handled many cases involving slaves as well as divorces, but would only own one slave during his life. In the 1850 census Early owned no real estate and lived in a tavern, as did several other lawyers; likewise in the 1860 census, he owned neither real nor personal property (such as slaves) and lived in a hotel, as did several other lawyers and merchants.[19] During this time, Early lived with Julia McNealey, who would bear four children whom Early acknowledged as his (including Jubal L. Early), although she would marry another man in 1871. A recent biographer would characterize Early as both unconventional and contrarian, "yet wedded to stability and conservatism".[20]

Although Early failed to win election as Franklin County's delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1850, Franklin County voters elected Early and Peter Saunders (who lived in the same boardinghouse, although the son of prominent local landowner Samuel Sanders) to represent them at the Virginia Secession Convention of 1861.[21] A staunch Unionist, Early argued that the rights of Southerners without slaves were worth protection as much as those who did own slaves, and that secession would precipitate war. Despite being mocked as "the Terrapin from Franklin," Early strongly opposed secession during both votes (Saunders left before the second vote, which approved secession).[15]

American Civil War

However, when President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion, Early fumed. After Virginia voters ratified secession, like many of his cousins, he accepted a commission to serve against the U.S. Army. Initially, Early became a brigadier general in the Virginia Militia and was sent to Lynchburg, where he raised three regiments and then commanded one of them. On June 19, 1861, Early formally became a colonel in the Confederate army, commanding the 24th Virginia Infantry, including his young cousin (previously expelled from VMI for attending a tea party), Jack Hairston.[22]

Following the First Battle of Bull Run (a/k/a First Manassas) in July 1861, Early was promoted to brigadier general, because his valor at Blackburn's Ford impressed General P.G.T. Beauregard, and his troops' charge along Chinn Ridge helped rout the Union forces (although his cousin Cpt. Charles F. Fisher of the 6th North Carolina died supporting the assault).[23][24] As general, as discussed below, Early would lead Confederate troops in most of the major battles in the Eastern Theater, including the Seven Days Battles, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and numerous battles in the Shenandoah Valley.

General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, affectionately called Early his "Bad Old Man", because of his short temper, insubordination and use of profanity. However, Lee also appreciated Early's aggressive fighting and ability to command units independently. Most of Early's soldiers (except during the war's last days) referred to him as "Old Jube" or "Old Jubilee" with enthusiasm and affection. (The "old" referred to a stoop because of the rheumatism incurred in Mexico).[25] However, his subordinate officers often experienced Early's inveterate complaints about minor faults, as well as biting criticism at the least opportunity. Generally blind to his own mistakes, Early reacted fiercely to criticism or suggestions from below.[26]

Serving under Stonewall Jackson

As the Union Peninsular Campaign began in May 1862, Early without adequate reconnaissance led a futile charge through a swamp and wheat field against two Union artillery redoubts at what became known as the Battle of Williamsburg,[15] His 22 year old cousin Jack Hairston was killed. The 24th Virginia suffered 180 killed, wounded or missing in the battle; Early himself received a shoulder wound and convalesced near home in Rocky Mount, Virginia.[27] On June 26, the first day of the Seven Days Battles, Early reported himself ready for duty. However, the brigade he had commanded at Williamsburg no longer existed, having suffered severe casualties in that assault, and an army reorganization assigned the remaining men whose enlistments continued to other units. General Robert E. Lee informed Early that he could not be assigned a new command in the middle of the current heated action, and recommended that Early wait until an opening came up somewhere. On July 1, just in time for the Battle of Malvern Hill (the last engagement in the Seven Days Battles), Early (though still unable to mount a horse without assistance) received command of Brig. Gen. Arnold Elzey's brigade because Elzey had been wounded at the Battle of Gaines Mill and the ranking colonel, James Walker, seemed too inexperienced for brigade command.[28] However, that brigade was not engaged in the battle.

For the rest of 1862, General Early commanded troops within the Second Corps under General Stonewall Jackson. During the Northern Virginia Campaign, Early's immediate superior was Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell. Early received accolades for his performance at the Battle of Cedar Mountain. Furthermore, his troops arrived in the nick of time to reinforce Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill on Jackson's left on Stony Ridge during the Second Battle of Bull Run (a/k/a Second Manassas).

At the Battle of Antietam, Early ascended to division command when his commander, Alexander Lawton, was wounded on September 17, 1862, after Lawton had assumed that division command while Maj. Gen. Ewell recovered after a wound received at Second Manassas caused amputation of his leg. At Fredericksburg, Early and his troops saved the day by counterattacking the division of Maj. Gen. George Meade, which penetrated a gap in Jackson's lines. Impressed by Early's performance, Gen. Lee retained him at commander of what had been Ewell's division; Early formally received a promotion to major general on January 17, 1863.

During the Chancellorsville campaign which began on May 1, 1863, Lee gave Early 9,000 men to defend Fredericksburg at Marye's Heights against superior forces (4 divisions) under Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick.[29] Early was able to delay the Union forces and pin down Sedgwick while Lee and Jackson attacked the rest of the Union troops to the west. Sedgwick's eventual attack on Early up Marye's Heights on May 3, 1863 is sometimes known as the Second Battle of Fredericksburg. However, after the battle, Early engaged in a newspaper war with Brig. Gen. William Barksdale of Mississippi (a former newspaperman and congressman), who had commanded a division under Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws in the First Corps, until Gen. Lee told the two officers to stop their public feud. Furthermore, General Stonewall Jackson died on May 10, 1863 of a wound received from his own sentry on the night of May 2, 1863, and the recovered Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell assumed command of the Second Corps.

Gettysburg and the Overland Campaign

Confederate General Jubal A. Early
Confederate General Jubal A. Early

During the Gettysburg Campaign of mid-1863, Early continued to commanded a division in the Second Corps under Lt. Gen. Ewell. His troops were instrumental in overcoming Union defenders at the Second Battle of Winchester on June 13–15. They captured many prisoners, and opened up the Shenandoah Valley for Lee's oncoming forces. Early's division, augmented with cavalry, eventually marched eastward across the South Mountain into Pennsylvania, seizing vital supplies and horses along the way. Early captured Gettysburg on June 26 and demanded a ransom, which was never paid. Two days later, he entered York County and seized York. Here, his ransom demands were partially met, including $28,000 in cash. York, Pennsylvania thus became the largest Northern town to fall to the Rebels during the war. He also burned an iron foundry near Caledonia owned by abolitionist U.S. Senator Thaddeus Stevens.[30] Elements of Early's command on June 28 reached the Susquehanna River, the farthest east in Pennsylvania that any organized Confederate force would penetrate. On June 30, Early was recalled to join the main force as Lee concentrated his army to meet the oncoming Federals.

Approaching the Gettysburg battlefield from the northeast on July 1, 1863, Early's division was on the leftmost flank of the Confederate line. He soundly defeated Brig. Gen. Francis Barlow's division (part of the Union XI Corps), inflicting three times the casualties to the defenders as he suffered, and drove the Union troops back through the streets of the town, capturing many of them. However, this later became another controversy, as Lt. Gen. Ewell denied Early permission to assault East Cemetery Hill to which Union troops had retreated. When the assault was allowed the following day as part of Ewell's efforts on the Union right flank, it failed with many casualties. The delay allowed Union reinforcements to arrive, which repulsed Early's two brigades. On the third day of battle, Early detached one brigade to assist Maj. Gen. Edward "Allegheny" Johnson's division in an unsuccessful assault on Culp's Hill. Elements of Early's division covered the rear of Lee's army during its retreat from Gettysburg on July 4 and July 5.[15]

Early's forces wintered in the Shenandoah Valley in 1863–64. During this period, he occasionally filled in as corps commander when Ewell's illness forced absences. On May 31, 1864, Lee expressed his confidence in Early's initiative and abilities at higher command levels. With President Davis now being authorized to make temporary promotions; on Lee`s request Early was promoted to the temporary rank of lieutenant general.[31][32]

Early fought well during the inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness (during which a cousin died), and assumed command of the ailing A.P. Hill's Third Corps during the march to intercept Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Spotsylvania Court House. At Spotsylvania, Early occupied the relatively quiet right flank of the Mule Shoe. After Hill had recovered and resumed command, Lee, dissatisfied with Ewell's performance at Spotsylvania, assigned him to defend Richmond and gave Early command of the Second Corps. Thus, Early commanded that corps in the Battle of Cold Harbor.

However, Union Gen. David Hunter (a radical abolitionist) had burned the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington on June 11, and was raiding through the Shenandoah Valley Confederate breadbasket, so Lee sent Early and 8,000 men to defend Lynchburg, an important railroad hub (with links to Richmond, the Valley and points southwest) as well as many hospitals for recovering Confederate wounded. John C. Breckinridge, Arnold Elzey and other convalescing Confederates and the remains of VMI's cadet corps assisted Early and his troops, as did many townspeople including Narcissa Chisholm Owen, wife of the president of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. Using a ruse involving multiple trains entering town to exaggerate his strength, Early convinced Hunter to retreat back toward West Virginia on June 18, in what became known as the Battle of Lynchburg, although the pursuing Confederate cavalry were soon outrun.[33]

Shenandoah Valley, 1864–1865

During the Valley Campaigns of 1864, Early received a temporary promotion to lieutenant general and command of the "Army of the Valley" (the nucleus of which was the former Second Corps). Thus Early commanded the Confederacy's last invasion of the North, secured much-needed funds and supplies for the Confederacy and drawing off Union troops from the siege of Petersburg. Since Union armies under Grant and Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman were rapidly capturing formerly Confederate territory, Lee sent Early's corps to sweep Union forces from the Shenandoah Valley, as well as to menace Washington, D.C. He hoped to secure supplies as well as compel Grant to dilute his forces against Lee around the Confederate capital at Richmond and its supply hub at Petersburg.

Early delayed his march for several days in a futile attempt to capture a small force under Franz Sigel at Maryland Heights near Harpers Ferry.[34] His men then rested and ate captured Union supplies from July 4 through July 6.[35] Although elements of his army would eventually reach the outskirts of Washington at a time when it was largely undefended, his delay at Maryland Heights and from extorting Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland prevented him from being able to attack the federal capital. Residents of Frederick paid $200,000 ($3.2 million in 2018 dollars[36]) on July 9 and avoided being sacked,[37] supposedly because some women had booed Stonewall Jackson's troops on their trip through town the previous year (the city had divided loyalties and would later erect a Confederate army monument).[38] Later in the month, Early would attempt to extort funds from Cumberland and Hancock, Maryland and his cavalry commanders would burn Chambersburg, Pennsylvania after it could not pay sufficient ransom.[39]

Meanwhile, Grant sent two VI Corps divisions from the Army of the Potomac to reinforce Union Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace defending the railroad to Washington, D.C. With 5,800 men, Wallace delayed Early for an entire day at the Battle of Monocacy Junction outside Frederick, which allowed additional Union troops to reach Washington and strengthen its defenses. Early's invasion caused considerable panic in both Washington and Baltimore, and his forces reached Silver Spring, Maryland and the outskirts of the District of Columbia. He also sent some cavalry under Brig. Gen. John McCausland to Washington's western side.

Knowing that he lacked sufficient strength to capture the federal capital, Early led skirmishes at Fort Stevens and Fort DeRussy. Opposing artillery batteries also traded fire on July 11 and July 12. On both days, President Abraham Lincoln watched the fighting from the parapet at Fort Stevens, his lanky frame a clear target for hostile military fire. After Early withdrew, he said to one of his officers, "Major, we haven't taken Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like hell."[40]

Early retreated with his men and captured loot across the Potomac River to Leesburg, Virginia on July 13, then headed west toward the Shenandoah Valley. At the Second battle of Kernstown on July 24, 1864, Early's forces defeated a Union army under Brig. Gen. George Crook. Through early August, Early's cavalry and guerrilla forces also attacked the B&O Railroad in various places, seeking to disrupt Union supply lines, as well as secure supplies for their own use.

As July ended, Early ordered cavalry under Generals McCausland and Bradley Tyler Johnson to raid across the Potomac River. On July 30, they burned more than 500 buildings in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, nominally in retaliation for Union Maj. Gen. David Hunter's burning VMI in June and the homes of three prominent Southern sympathizers in Jefferson County, West Virginia earlier that month, as well as the Pennsylvania town's failure to heed his ransom demands (town leaders collecting door to door could only raise about $28,000 of the $100,000 in gold or $500,000 in greenbacks demanded, the local bank having sent its reserves out of town in anticipation).[41][39] Early's forces also burned the region's only bridge across the Susquehanna River, impeding commerce as well as Union troop movements. Union cavalry commander Brig. Gen. William W. Averell had thought the attackers would raid toward Baltimore, Maryland, and so arrived too late to save Chambersburg. However, a rift developed between Early's two cavalry commanders because Marylander Johnson was loath to raze Cumberland and Hancock for likewise failing to meet ransom demands, because he saw McCausland's brigade commit war crimes while looting Chambersburg ("every crime ... of infamy.. except murder and rape").[42] Averill's Union cavalry, although half the size of the Confederate cavalry, chased them back across the Potomac River, and they skirmished three times, the Confederate cavalry losing most severely at the Battle of Moorefield in Hardy County, West Virginia on August 7.

Realizing Early could still easily attack Washington, Grant in mid-August sent Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan and additional troops to subdue Early's forces, as well as local guerilla forces led by Col. John S. Mosby. At times outnumbering the Confederates three to one, Sheridan defeated Early in three battles. Sheridan's troops also laid waste to much of what had been the Confederacy's breadbasket, in order to deny rations and other supplies to Lee's army. On September 19, 1864, Early's troops lost the Third Battle of Winchester after raiding the B&O depot at Martinsburg, West Virginia. Key subordinates (General Robert Rodes and A.C. Godwin) were killed, General Fitz Lee wounded and General John C. Breckinridge was ordered back to Southwest Virginia—so Early had lost about 40% of his troop strength since the campaign began, despite distracting thousands of Union troops.[43] The Confederates never again captured Winchester or the northern Valley. On September 21–22, Early's troops lost Strasburg after Sheridan's much larger force (35,000 Union troops vs. 9500 Confederates ) won the Battle of Fisher's Hill, capturing much of Early's artillery and 1,000 men, as well as inflicting about 1,235 casualties including the popular Sandie Pendleton. In a surprise attack the following month, on October 19, 1864, Early's Confederates initially routed two thirds of the Union army at the Battle of Cedar Creek. In his post-battle dispatch to Lee, Early noted that his troops were hungry and exhausted and claimed they broke ranks to pillage the Union camp, which allowed Sheridan critical time to rally his demoralized troops and turn their morning defeat into an afternoon victory. However, he privately conceded he had hesitated rather than pursue the advantage, and another key subordinate, Dodson Ramseur, was wounded, captured and died the next day despite the best efforts of Union and Confederate surgeons.[44] Furthermore, one of Early's key subordinates, Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon, in his memoirs written in 1908 (after the irascible Early's death), also blamed Early's indecision rather than the troops for the afternoon rout.[45]

General Early, disguised as a farmer, while escaping to Mexico, 1865
General Early, disguised as a farmer, while escaping to Mexico, 1865

Although distracting thousands of Union troops from the action around Petersburg and Richmond for months, Early had also lost the confidence of former Virginia governor Extra Billie Smith, who told Lee that troops no longer considered Early "a safe commander."[46] Lee ordered most of the remaining Second Corps to rejoin the Army of Northern Virginia defending Petersburg by late November, leaving Early to defend the entire Valley with a brigade of infantry and some cavalry under Lunsford L. Lomax.[47] When Sheridan's troops nearly destroyed the Confederates at Waynesboro on March 2, 1865, Early could not evacuate his men (many of whom were captured), nor artillery and supplies. He barely escaped capture with his cousin Peter Hairston and a few members of his staff, returning almost alone to Petersburg. Hairston returned to one of his plantations near Danville, Virginia, where Confederate President Jefferson Davis would soon briefly flee to stay with slavetrader and financier William Sutherlin.[48]

However, Lee would not put Early back in command of the Second Corps there because his former subordinate Gordon was handling matters satisfactorily, and the press and other commanders suggested the recent disasters made Early unacceptable to the troops.[49] Lee told Early to go home and wait, then relieved Early of his command on March 30, writing:

While my own confidence in your ability, zeal, and devotion to the cause is unimpaired, I have nevertheless felt that I could not oppose what seems to be the current of opinion, without injustice to your reputation and injury to the service. I therefore felt constrained to endeavor to find a commander who would be more likely to develop the strength and resources of the country, and inspire the soldiers with confidence. ... [Thank you] for the fidelity and energy with which you have always supported my efforts, and for the courage and devotion you have ever manifested in the service ...

— Robert E. Lee, letter to Early

Thus ended Early's Confederate career.

Postbellum career

When the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on April 9, 1865, Early escaped to Texas on horseback, hoping to find a Confederate force that had not surrendered. He proceeded to Mexico, and from there sailed to Cuba and finally Canada. Despite his former Unionist stance, Early declared himself unable to live under the same government as the Yankee.[15] While living in Toronto with some financial support from his father and elder brother, Early wrote A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence, in the Confederate States of America (1866), which focused on his Valley Campaign.[50] The book became the first published by a major general about the war.[15] Early would spend the rest of his life defending his actions during the war and would become among the most vocal in justifying the Confederate cause, which became the Lost Cause movement.

President Andrew Johnson pardoned Early and many other prominent Confederates in 1869, but Early took pride in remaining an "unreconstructed rebel", and would thereafter only wear suits of "Confederate gray" cloth. He returned to Virginia and resumed his legal practice about a year before General Robert E. Lee died. However, his father died in 1870 and the mother of his four children (whom he had never married) married another man in 1871. Early spent the rest of his life suffering,[51] as well as shaping interpretations of the greatest conflict in his life. In an 1872 speech on the anniversary of General Lee's death, Early claimed inspiration from two letters Lee had sent him in 1865.[52] In Lee's published farewell order to the Army of Northern Virginia, the general had noted the "overwhelming resources and numbers" that the Confederate army fought against. In one letter to Early, Lee requested information about enemy strengths from May 1864 to April 1865, the war's last year, in which his army fought against Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (the Overland Campaign and the Siege of Petersburg). Lee wrote, "My only object is to transmit, if possible, the truth to posterity, and do justice to our brave Soldiers."[53] Lee also wrote, "I have not thought proper to notice, or even to correct misrepresentations of my words & acts. We shall have to be patient, & suffer for awhile at least. ... At present the public mind is not prepared to receive the truth."[53]

Early in his elder years
Early in his elder years

In his final years, Early became an outspoken proponent of white supremacy, believing it justified by his religion, and despised abolitionists. In the preface to his memoirs, Early characterized former slaves as "barbarous natives of Africa", considering them "in a civilized and Christianized condition" as a result of their enslavement. He continued:

The Creator of the Universe had stamped them, indelibly, with a different color and an inferior physical and mental organization. He had not done this from mere caprice or whim, but for wise purposes. An amalgamation of the races was in contravention of His designs or He would not have made them so different. This immense number of people could not have been transported back to the wilds from which their ancestors were taken, or, if they could have been, it would have resulted in their relapse into barbarism. Reason, common sense, true humanity to the black, as well as the safety of the white race, required that the inferior race should be kept in a state of subordination. The conditions of domestic slavery, as it existed in the South, had not only resulted in a great improvement in the moral and physical condition of the negro race, but had furnished a class of laborers as happy and contented as any in the world.[54]

Despite Lee's avowed desire for reconciliation with his former West Point colleagues who remained with the Union and with Northerners more generally, Early became an outspoken and vehement critic of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, particularly criticizing his actions at the Battle of Gettysburg, and also taking issue with him and other former Confederates who after the war worked with Republicans and African Americans. Early also often criticized former Union General (later President) Ulysses S. Grant as a "butcher."

In 1873, Early founded and became president of the Southern Historical Society, an association he continued until his death. He frequently contributed to the Southern Historical Society Papers, whose secretary was former Confederate chaplain J. William Jones. With the support of former Confederate General William N. Pendleton, who like Jones ministered in Lexington, Virginia after the war, Early also became the first president of the Lee Monument Association, and of the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia. Beginning around 1877, Early and former Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard supported themselves in part as officials of the (reputedly then corrupt) Louisiana Lottery.[55] Early also corresponded with and visited former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who retired to Mississippi's Gulf Coast near New Orleans, Louisiana to write his own memoirs. Former Confederate First Lady Varina Davis, while also furthering the Lost Cause and corresponding with Early, would characterize Early as a "crabby bachelor with a squeaky, high-pitched voice".[56]

Death and legacy

Early tripped and fell down granite stairs at the Lynchburg, Virginia post office on February 15, 1894. A medical examination found no broken nor fractured bones, but noted Early suffered from back pain and mental confusion. He failed to recover during the next few weeks and died quietly at home on March 2, holding the hand of U.S. Sen. John Warwick Daniel. Local obituaries estimated his net worth at $200,000 to $300,000,[57] His doctor did not specify an exact cause on the death certificate.[58] Virginia's flag flew at half-mast over the Capitol the afternoon of the funeral, and canons boomed 36 times at five minute intervals. A procession of VMI cadets, 300 Confederate veterans and local militia accompanied the flag-draped casket and riderless horse with reversed stirrups to St. Paul's Church. During the brief service, Rev. T.M. Carson, a veteran of Early's Valley Campaign, testified as to "the almost countless forces of the enemy."[59] Another, simple service, taps and a farewell kiss by one of Early's "noblest and bravest followers" concluded with Early's burial at Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg.[59] Nearby lay (distant) family members Captain Robert D. Early (killed in the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5, 1864) and his brother William (killed at the Battle of Five Forks, April 1, 1865) and their parents, as well as Confederate generals Thomas T. Munford and James Dearing.[60][61]

The Library of Congress has some of his papers.[62] The Virginia Historical Society holds some of his papers, along with other members of the Early family.[63] The Library of Virginia and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have Hairston family papers, but they barely mention activities during the American Civil War, other than selling provisions to the Confederacy.[4]

The Lost Cause that Early promoted and espoused was continued by memorial associations such as the United Confederate Veterans (founded 1889) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (founded 1894), as well as by his niece Ruth Hairston Early.[7] Jubal Early's final book, Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative of the War between the States, was published posthumously in 1912.[64] Historians, including Douglas Southall Freeman (who grew up in Lynchburg near the former Early home and remembered relatives' pointing out the stooped and grumbling Early as a bogeyman-type warning), espoused the Lost Cause to greater or lesser degrees until the 1960s, arguing the concept helped Southerners to cope with the dramatic social, political, and economic changes in the postbellum era, including Reconstruction.[65] Early's recent biographer, Gary Gallagher, noted that Early understood the struggle to control public memory of the war, and that he "worked hard to help shape that memory, and ultimately enjoyed more success than he probably imagined possible."[66] Other modern historians such as James Loewen believed Early's views fomented racial hatred.[67]


A plaque praising Early in Rocky Mount, Virginia
A plaque praising Early in Rocky Mount, Virginia

Streets named after him

  • Jubal Early Drive, Forest, Virginia
  • Jubal Early Court, Potomac, Maryland
  • Jubal Early Highway, Boones Mill, Virginia
  • East Jubal Early Drive, Winchester, Virginia
  • West Jubal Early Drive, Winchester, Virginia
  • Jubal Early Lane, Conroe, Texas
  • Jubal Early Drive, Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Jubal Early Drive, Petersburg, West Virginia
  • Early Street, Lynchburg, Virginia
  • Jubal Early Road, Zephyrhills, Florida

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ J. Tracy Power, "Jubal A. Early (1816-1894)" at
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Henry Wiencek, The Hairstons: an American Family in Black and White (Macmillan, 2000) p. 8
  6. ^ 1830 U.S. Federal Census for Franklin county, Southwest section shows Jubal Early as owning 7 enslaved persons, although that may have been a relative. The same census names five Early households; the others were headed by his father Joab Early, as well as Henry Early, Lamarck Early and Melchizidek Early.
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ Benjamin Franklin Cooling III, Jubal Early: Robert E. Lee's "Bad Old Man" (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014) p. 2
  9. ^ Early, Ruth Hairston. The Family of Early: Which Settled Upon the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Its Connection with Other Families, Brown-Morrison, 1920, pp. 107–08.
  10. ^ Resignation of Lewis A. Armistead, January 1836, RG 77, E18, National Archives. Some historians characterize Armistead's departure as a dismissal from the Academy; see citations in Lewis Addison Armistead.
  11. ^ Cooling pp. 2-3
  12. ^ Cooling p. 4
  13. ^ Cynthia Miller Leonard, Virginia General Assembly 1619-1978 (Richmond: Virginia State Library 1978) p. 400
  14. ^ Catalogue of Officers and Alumni of Washington & Lee University, p. 75, available at
  15. ^ a b c d e f
  16. ^ Cooling pp. 4–5
  17. ^
  18. ^ Cooling pp. 6-7
  19. ^ 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Franklin County, dwelling no. 5; 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Franklin County, South Western district, dwelling 157. Likewise in the 1880 census, he lived in a boardinghouse. All such censuses are available at libraries on
  20. ^ Cooling pp. 7–8
  21. ^ Leonard p. 475
  22. ^ According to Wiencek p. 144, not only would Jack Hairston die early in the war, despite being his parents' only son and easily capable of hiring a substitute, his cousin who tried to locate his body would die of disease contracted during the search.
  23. ^ Wiencek, p. 148
  24. ^
  25. ^ Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants (abridged 1-volume version edited by Stephen W. Sears) (Scribner 1998) p. 83
  26. ^ Gallagher, Struggle for the Shenandoah, p. 21.
  27. ^ Wiencek pp. 149–150
  28. ^ Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants, p. 252
  29. ^ Freeman at pp. 494–504
  30. ^ Douglas R. Egerton, The Wars of Reconstruction (Bloomsbury Press 2014) p. 212
  31. ^ O.R., Series I, Vol. LI, Part II, pp. 973–974
  32. ^ O.R., Series I, Vol. XXXVI, Part III, pp. 873–874
  33. ^ Freeman pp. 726–27, 739
  34. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Harper's Ferry" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  35. ^ O.R., Series I, Vol. XLIII, Part 1, p. 1020.
  36. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  37. ^ NRIS p. 16 available at
  38. ^ Loewen, James W. (July 1, 2015). "Why do people believe myths about the Confederacy? Because our textbooks and monuments are wrong. False history marginalizes African Americans and makes us all dumber". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Graham Holdings Company. Confederate cavalry leader Jubal Early demanded and got $300,000 from them lest he burn their town, a sum equal to at least $5,000,000 today.
  39. ^ a b
  40. ^ Freeman, p. 742.
  41. ^
  42. ^ Freeman p. 745
  43. ^ Freeman p. 749
  44. ^ Freeman pp. 758–761
  45. ^ Gordon, pp. 352–372.
  46. ^ Freeman p. 751
  47. ^ Freeman p. 765
  48. ^ Wiencek, p. 164
  49. ^ Freeman pp. 768–69
  50. ^
  51. ^ Kathryn Shively Meier, "Jubal A. Early: Model Civil War Sufferer", J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Volume 4, Number 1, Spring 2016, pp. 206–214 available at
  52. ^ Gary W. Gallagher, The Confederate War (Harvard University Press 1997) pp. 168-169
  53. ^ a b Gallagher & Nolan, p. 12.
  54. ^ Early and Gallagher, pp. xxv–xxvi.
  55. ^ Weincek p. 284
  56. ^ Joan E. Cashin, First Lady of the Confederacy: Varina Davis' Civil War (Harvard University Press 2006) p. 254
  57. ^ Cooling p. 142
  58. ^ "Medical Histories of Confederate Generals", Jack D. Welsh, M.D., 1999
  59. ^ a b Cooling p. 143
  60. ^
  61. ^ No. 9118
  62. ^ Jubal Anderson Early: A Register of His Papers in the Library of Congress. Prepared by Marilyn K. Parr and David Mathisen. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2008.
  63. ^
  64. ^ available at and
  65. ^ Ulbrich, p. 1222.
  66. ^ quoted in
  67. ^ James W. Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me
  68. ^ White's Ferry website.
  69. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  70. ^ General Jubal Early Homeplace Preservation

Further reading

External links

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