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Jubal Anderson Early
Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Confederate Military
May 5, 1862 Battle of Williamsburg

Major General James Longstreet [CS] nearly defeats Major General "Fighting Joe" Hooker [US] during a rear-guard action.
Virginia
  Peninsula Campaign
  James Longstreet
  Lafayette McLaws
  George McClellan
  Battle of Williamsburg
  William Farrar Smith
  Winfield Scott Hancock
  Joseph Hooker
  Samuel Garland
  Samuel Heintzelman
August 9, 1862 Battle of Cedar Mountain [US]
Battle of Slaughter Mountain [CS]
Other names: Cedar Run, Cedar Run Mountain, Southwest Mountain

Stonewall Jackson [CS] defeats Nathaniel Banks [US].
Virginia
  A. P. Hill
  Northern Virginia Campaign
  Battle of Cedar Mountain
  Richard Ewell
  Army of Virginia
  Nathaniel Banks
December 13, 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg

General Ambrose Burnside and the Army of the Potomac is soundly beaten by Lee's Army of North Virginia.
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Army of the Potomac
  Robert E. Lee
  Ambrose Burnside
  Lafayette McLaws
  Fredericksburg
  William B. Franklin
  Edwin Vose Sumner
  John Reynolds
  Joseph Hooker
May 3, 1863 Second Battle of Fredericksburg

John Sedgwick drives Jubal Early south past the city of Fredericksburg. The following day, as Early prepares to counterattack he finds the city empty. Sedgwick had followed the river west to aid the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville
Virginia
  John Sedgwick
  Chancellorsville
May 3, 1863
May 4, 1863
Battle of Salem Church
Battle of Banks Ford

Wilcox's Brigade of Early's Division stops the Union IV Army Corps with a position around rural Salem Church. Sedgwick decided to withdraw to the north when Lee reinforces Wilcox with two divisions and Early moves on Sedgwick's rear.
Virginia
  John Sedgwick
  Chancellorsville
June 28, 1863 Jubal Early seizes York, Pennsylvania
  The Gettysburg Campaign
July 1, 1863
July 3, 1863
Battle of Gettysburg

General Robert E. Lee [CS] advances into Pennsylvania where he meets George Meade [US]. First battling north of the city, by the second day Union forces had retreated south, forming a strong line as men arrived almost continuously. On the third day, the infamous Pickett's Charge marked the end of the Confederates hope for a victory

The bloodiest three days in American history
Pennsylvania
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  Robert E. Lee
  John Bell Hood
  James Longstreet
  George Meade
  Army of Northern Virginia
  Army of the Potomac
  J. E. B. Stuart
  Lafayette McLaws
  Winfield Scott Hancock
  George Armstrong Custer
  Battle of Gettysburg
  Richard Ewell
  George Pickett
  John Reynolds
  The Gettysburg Campaign
  Early action at Herbst Woods
  James Archer
  George Armstrong Custer
July 9, 1864 Battle of the Monocacy

General Lew Wallace [US] with an irregular force of 6,000 men is routed by Jubal Early's 10,000 man battle-hardened division
Maryland
  Jubal Early's Raid on Washington D. C.
  Lew Wallace
July 11, 1864 Jubal Early reaches Washington D. C. suburbs. In the past few days, however, more than 20,000 Union soldiers from various commands have arrived to defend the city. Commanding the Union forces are Generals Quincy Gillmore and Horatio Wright.
  Jubal Early's Raid on Washington D. C.
  Washington D. C.
July 24, 1864 Second battle of Kernstown

Jubal Early's [CS] move to the Shenandoah Valley is blocked by George Crook [US], at least for a while. After a violent assault on the Union left by John Breckinridge the federal line broke and pulled back to Harpers Ferry
Virginia
  Rutherford B. Hayes
  John Breckinridge
  Harpers Ferry
September 16, 1864 Meeting in Charles Town, Ulysses S. Grant and Phil Sheridan discuss the problems in the Shenandoah Valley with Jubal Early's [CS] Corps West Virginia
  Philip Sheridan
  Ulysses S. Grant
September 19, 1864 3rd battle of Winchester (Opequon Creek)

Phil Sheridan [US], with a force of 40,000 men, strikes Jubal Early's [CS] 14,000 man Confederate army north of Winchester. Sheridan simply overpowered the Confederates. General Robert E. Rodes was mortally wounded in the conflict.
Virginia
  Generals Who Died In the Civil War
  Philip Sheridan
October 19, 1864 Battle of Cedar Creek (Belle Grove)

In the last major engagement in the Shenandoah Valley, Jubal Early [CS] defeats Phillip Sheridan [US] in the first of two fairly distinct engagements. During the second engagement, Sheridan arrived and rallied the federals, who easily repulsed Early.
  Philip Sheridan
  George Armstrong Custer
March 2, 1865 Battle of Waynesborough

George Armstrong Custer [US] defeats Jubal Early [CS]
Virginia
  George Armstrong Custer


Introduction

Amused by his first name, his soldiers called him Jubilee or Old Jube
Jubal Anderson Early
Jubal Early was forty-four when the Civil War broke out, decidedly single and unhappy, perhaps even bitter. His soldiers made fun of his first name, calling the general "Old Jubilee" or "Ol' Jube" for short. Ambitious, but perhaps not as well-rounded as other commanders, he admitted his contempt for his cavalry, never really accepting their role in a successful campaign.

Early Life

Son of a tobacco farmer, Jubal Early was born in Franklin County, Virginia, and grew up on his father's farm. In 1833 he attended West Point, graduating in 1837. Fresh from the Academy he entered the Second Seminole War as a second lieutenant but resigned his commission in 1838.

He became a member of the Virginia bar in 1840, later serving as prosecutor for both Franklin County and Floyd County, Virginia. After returning to active duty for the Mexican American War, Early continued to serve to the bar following the war. His political experience included time in the Virginia legislature as a Whig. At Virginia's secessionist convention Early served as a member of the military committee and strived to maintain the Union. When that failed he continued to support the state, accepting a commission as a brigadier general in the militia. During the convention he penned this about his future commander, Robert E. Lee:
Those who witnessed his appearance before the convention saw his manly bearing and heard the few grave, dignified and impressive words with which he consecrated himself and his sword to the cause of his native state, can never forget that scene. All felt at once that we had a leader worthy of the State and the cause.


Manassas (Bull Run)

In June, 1861, under P. G. T. Beauregard Colonel Early became one of six brigade commanders (technically, Brigade Colonel) in the Alexandria Line. A few days before First Manassas, Early advanced in support of James Longstreet during a sharp skirmish at Blackburn's Ford. During the battle of Manassas, it was Early and Arnold Elzey who came up to the Chinn House and attacked the Union right flank (Otis Howard's Brigade) during the heaviest fighting at Henry Hill. As the Union right collapsed, General P. G. T. Beauregard ordered the general advance that sent the Yankees scurrying in defeat.

Peninsula Campaign

When Longstreet asked Daniel Harvey Hill to supply a reserve at Williamsburg during the Peninsula Campaign, Hill sent Early forward. Early proposed an attack against Winfield Scott Hancock's line, in which Hill led two regiments and Early the other two. As the Confederates came out of the woods they realized the distance to Hancock's fortified position was further than thought, but it appeared as though Hancock was withdrawing. Indeed, Hancock was in the initial stages of withdrawal but the appearance of the Confederates gave him the reason he needed to stay. Coming to within 100 yards of the Union line, Hill and then Early called retreat. The advance was a bloody mistake and Early was wounded and replaced by Samuel Garland.

Cedar Mountain

Early recovered quickly and resumed command, then headed west with Stonewall Jackson in July, 1862 after the Seven Days.
When Nathaniel Banks attacked Jackson's Rebel line at the Battle of Cedar Mountain (Cedar Run), his brigade held the center of Jackson's line and came under heavy attack. At the height of battle two brigades struck Early's left flank. William Taliaferro's brigade moved up in support and the Confederate line held. Unfortunately, a second attack struck the lightly held left flank of Jackson's army and rolled his line from his left. As the unexpected attack struck Taliaferro's flank his men withdrew and exposed Early's left flank. As the leftmost regiments fled, Jubal Early tried to reorganize his line into a near 90 degree salient, a dangerous move intended to protect his remaining regiments and the rest of Jackson's line.

Now two things happened nearly simultaneously. A. P. Hill's light division moved to strike Nathan Banks weakly held left flank and the Stonewall Brigade moved up to support Early's left flank. The Stonewall Brigade struck full force against the federals. Union soldiers had been so involved in fighting pockets of Rebel resistance and driving Early's brigade back that many of them never saw the Stonewall Brigade coming. The Confederates began driving the bluecoats back towards Nathan Banks' original line. At this point both Taliaferro and Early reorganized their men and began to advance following the men of the Stonewall Brigade, but John Pope's Army of Virgina arrived in support of Banks.

Second Manassas

On August 22, 1862, Jackson ordered his men north to the Rappahannock and Early was the first to cross the rain-swollen river. The next morning he awoke to a surprise. The dam he had used the previous day had washed out and Early's men were separated from the Confederate Army by an unfordable river. Federal cavalry brushed his lines near Warrenton (Springs), and was slowly being reinforced with infantry. Jackson ordered Dick Ewell forward to assess the situation and Ewell quickly ordered Early to withdraw across a hastily constructed bridge. This action is generally regarded as the start of the Second Manassas Campaign, part of the Northern Virginia Campaign

Second Manassas did not start well for Jubal Early - he was passed over for command of wounded Dick Ewell's division. Alexander Lawton, a fellow brigadier had seniority and assumed command of the division following Ewell's devastating wound at Groveton. Early had limited involvement at Manassas, first in support of A. P. Hill at Groveton, then joining Maxcy Gregg at a critical moment of Second Manassas on August 29 at the railroad cut. Later, when one of Lawton's brigades broke during battle on August 31, 1862, Early's men again came under Union fire.

Antietam

At Sharpsburg, Early would become division commander when Alexander Lawton was wounded. At the start of the battle, however, Ol' Jube held a position in the West Woods, initially arriving in support of John Bell Hood, under attack just north of Dunker Church. Early immediately began a sharp attack against Joseph Mansfield's 12th Corps from the woods, helping relieve the pressure on Hood.

Stonewall Jackson's Confederates were thinly stretched north of Dunker Church when Edwin Vose Sumner and John Sedgwick led about half of Sumner's 2nd Corps in a blistering frontal assault on Early's line about 10:00 am. Early and Hood had been calling for reinforcements and just as the Yankees were making headway, General Lafayette McLaws arrived, catching Sedwick's right flank, breaking the attack and nearly killing Sedgwick and Sumner. Following the withdrawal, Early supported William Pendleton's rear guard action at Boteler's Ford

Division Command

Stonewall Jackson chose Jubal Early to command Dick Ewell's division, putting "Extra Billy" Smith in command of Early's old brigade. The assignment would be temporary until approved, which would not happen until after the battle of Fredericksburg. Jackson's Second Corps was now comprised of Jackson's own division, A. P. Hill's division, Daniel Harvey Hill's division, and Ewell's division under Early.

Fredericksburg

On December 4, 1862, Generals Jubal Early and Daniel Harvey Hill were down the Rappahonnock River at Port Royal watching the lower crossings and making sure a federal force didn't sneak around behind the Confederates. Jubal Early saw the Union Navy in the bay near Port Royal, Virginia and ordered artillery fire in an attempt to harass them. Hill's infantry and nearby artillery units under John Pelham continued the harassment when Early was ordered by Stonewall Jackson up the river to an undefended section of the Rappahannock River known as Skinker's Crossing. When Union Commander Ambrose Burnside arrived on December 5th, he opted to forgo crossing the river in the face of Early's well-positioned forces. Instead he moved toward Fredricksburg on the northern bank of the river.

On December 12, 1862 Lee realized that Ambrose Burnside had massed the entire Army of the Potomac in front of the Army of Northern Virginia's position, so he ordered Early and Hill to join him south of the city. He came into line behind Harvey Hill, part of Jackson's 40,000 man section on the right of Lee's line. Hill came under attack by George Meade's Pennsylvania division and when Maxcy Gregg was mortally wounded, Meade captured a key road.

With some 4,000 veterans, Meade prepared to make a stand. He looked for William Franklin [US] to support him as ordered, but Franklin was nowhere around. Early received orders to "hold in readiness," but when Harvey Hill's retreating men brought word of a terrible gap in the front line Early advanced to the battle, waved on by a dying Maxcy Gregg. William Taliaferro [CS] joined in the attack and soon Meade's force was in full retreat. Early remained in this position for the rest of the battle.

Chancellorsville

Actually, Early remained near that position for the next several months. When Lee moved a few miles west to the Chancellor home, Early remained at Marye's Heights south of Fredericksburg. He began moving towards Lee's position as ordered, leaving a small force to guard for flanking attacks, less than a mile down the Plank Road he was informed of a large federal presence near Fredericksburg and returned. As word reach Early of Lee's success during the first day of battle at Chancellorsville he was preparing to engage two corps under John Sedgwick that crossed the Rappahanock River on a rapidly constructed pontoon bridge.

From Lee's Hill Early watched Sedgwick's men and artillery drive William Barksdale's brigade from Marye's Heights. Early prepared to counterattack the following morning. John B. Gordon's brigade was chosen to lead the attack and Early would ride with them. When they reached the Heights, the Confederates found no Yankees. They had only taken the position to protect the corps' flank, which was now west of Fredericksburg on its way to Chancellorsville. Early pursued Sedgwick, who fought the Battle of Salem Church before being forced across the Rappahannock.

March to Gettysburg

With the return of Dick Ewell to command the 2nd Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia in late May, Early was given command of a division under his old division commander. General Ewell used Early's plan to attack federals under Robert Milroy, who retreated to the supposed safety of Winchester, Virginia. As the Yankees were distracted by Confederate demonstrations on June 14, 1863, Early took high ground above one of Milroy's positions. After an hour's bombardment by Early, Milroy decided to withdraw from Winchester under cover of darkness. Although he fought additional engagements, Milroy's command was intact when he reached Harper's Ferry.

On June 22, Lee ordered Ewell into Pennsylvania towards Harrisburg, with Early piercing South Mountain and heading east through Gettysburg and York. The main goal was to gather supplies while Lee distracted Joe Hooker. After destroying an iron mill owned by abolitionist Thadeus Stevens, Early advanced to Gettysburg, passing through on June 27. From there, he continued to York, cutting the North Central Railroad and the Columbia Bridge across the Susquehanna River, severing Hooker's communication with Harrisburg. York was the largest Northern town to fall to the Rebels during the war. Early received $28,000 in tribute from the frightened Pennsylvania Dutch citizens of York as well as shoes, bread, sugar, coffee and beef. One citizen described Early's men as "wearing masks of dirt, with eyes gleaming through." In return for the tribute, Early spared the town from destruction.

Gettysburg

On July 1, 1863, Jubal Early was headed towards Harrisburg when Dick Ewell's order to advance on Gettysburg arrived. He turned southwest, moving into battle line formation as he approached the sound of fighting. This was no ordinary, four-abreast formation. Early's division approached Gettysburg along Huntersville Road and the York Turnpike in a battle-line of three brigades, more than a mile wide, striking the flank of the Union's XI Corps. Although Barlow's division fought hard, Early and fellow division commander Robert Rodes overpowered him. The collapse of the Union line forced the Army of the Potomac to withdraw to high ground south of the city of Gettysburg.

During Early's battle against the XI Corps, newly appointed division commander Francis Barlow was severely wounded. With Early's permission, three Confederate surgeons examined the wounded leader, only to give him bad news. His wounds were fatal. Barlow, however, did recover.

Jubal Early joined Dick Ewell and Robert Rodes at a conference with General Lee towards the end of the day. Lee wanted Ewell to continue his advance, taking Culp's Hill on the Union right. Early, who wrote the only description of the meeting, claimed that the men had been through a long march and a fierce battle and needed rest. Ewell and Rodes agreed and Lee backed off from his request.

In the evening of July 2, 1863, Jubal Early's division struck Cemetery Hill from the northeast, Robert Rodes from the northwest and "Allegheny" Johnson hit Culp's Hill. Union lines, depleted to support troops under attack by James Longstreet seemed doomed to fail until last minute support arrived from a variety of places. Early's attack failed to gain important ground south of Gettysburg.


Battle of the Wilderness
Spotsylvania
Battle of Cold Harbor
Kernstown


Early died from a tumble downstairs

Links appearing on this page:

A. P. Hill
Alexandria Line
Ambrose Burnside
Army of Northern Virginia
Army of the Potomac
Battle of Cedar Mountain
Chancellorsville
Daniel Harvey Hill
Edwin Vose Sumner
First Manassas
James Longstreet
John B. Gordon
John Bell Hood
John Sedgwick
Mexican American War
Nathaniel Banks
Northern Virginia Campaign
P. G. T. Beauregard
Peninsula Campaign
Robert E. Lee
Samuel Garland
Second Manassas
Seven Days
Sharpsburg
Stonewall Jackson
Williamsburg
Winfield Scott Hancock

Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Confederate Military

Jubal Anderson Early was last changed on - September 14, 2009
Jubal Anderson Early was added in 2005




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