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Ewell, Richard Stoddert

EWELL, RICHARD STODDERT (1817-1872), American soldier, lieutenant-general in the Confederate army, was born in Georgetown, now a part of Washington, D.C., on the 2nd of February 1817, and graduated at West Point in 1840. As a cavalry officer he saw much active service in the Mexican War and later in Indian warfare in New Mexico. He resigned his commission at the outbreak of the Civil War, and entered the Confederate service. He commanded a brigade in the first Bull Run campaign, and a division in the famous Valley Campaign of "Stonewall" Jackson, to whom he was next in rank. At Cross Keys he was in command of the forces which defeated General Frémont. Ewell's division served with Jackson in the Seven Days and in the campaign of Second Bull Run. At the action of Groveton Ewell lost a leg, but did not on that account retire from active service, though other generals led his men in the sanguinary battles of Antietam (where they lost 47% of their numbers) and Fredericksburg. After the death of "Stonewall" Jackson, Ewell was promoted lieutenant-general and appointed to command the 2nd Corps, with which he had served from the beginning of the Valley Campaign. His promotion set aside General J.E.B. Stuart, the temporary commander of Jackson's corps; that Ewell, crippled as he was, was preferred to the brilliant cavalry leader was a marked testimony to his sterling qualities as a soldier. The invasion of Pennsylvania soon followed, Ewell's corps leading the advance of Lee's army. A federal force was skilfully cut off and destroyed near Winchester, Va., and Ewell's corps then raided Maryland and southern Pennsylvania unchecked. At the battle of Gettysburg, the 2nd Corps decided the fighting of the first day in favour of the Confederates, driving the enemy before them; on the second day it fought a desperate action on Lee's left wing. Ewell took part in the closing operations of 1863 and in all the battles of the Wilderness and Petersburg campaigns. In the final campaign of 1865 he and the remnant of his corps were cut off and forced to surrender at Sailor's Creek, a few days before his chief capitulated to Grant at Appomattox. After the war General Ewell lived in retirement. He died near Spring Hill, Maury County, Tennessee, on the 25th of January 1872.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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