General Lewis Addison Armistead
By John T. Marck
Lewis A. Armistead was born in New Berne, North Carolina on February 18, 1817. In 1834, at the age of seventeen he entered West Point, as his father was a high-ranking US Army officer. However, he only stayed there two years, as he was dismissed for breaking a mess-hall plate over the head of a fellow cadet. This cadet turned out to be Jubal Early, the future Confederate general.
Armistead entered the US Army Infantry in 1839 and served in the Seminole and Mexican Wars. Although his disposition was casual and friendly, he all the while was a tough disciplinarian whose creed was obedience to duty. When the Civil War began, Armistead resigned from the US Army on May 26, 1861 and joined the Confederacy. Armistead had been married, and they had a son, however his wife died by the time he entered Confederate service. While serving as a colonel, his son later served as his aide. Armistead stayed in this position until April 1, 1862 when he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. His infantry, the 57th Virginia first saw action at Seven Pines.
General Lewis Armistead's promising military career ended in 1863, when he was struck by an artillery round during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3. Taken to a Union field hospital, he died two later on July 5, 1863. He was one of six Confederate generals who were killed at Gettysburg. A short time after his death, friends claimed his body and brought it back to Baltimore, Maryland where he was interred at Saint Paul's Churchyard.
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