Ewell, Richard Stoddert

Life Span
Full name
Richard Stoddert Ewell
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Death Date Certainty
Sectional choice
Slave State
No. of Spouses
No. of Children
Thomas Ewell (father), Elizabeth Stoddert (mother), Lizinka Campbell Brown (wife)
West Point (US Military Academy)
Farmer or Planter
US military (Pre-Civil War)
Confederate Army

Richard Stoddert Ewell (American National Biography)

When the Mexican War ended, Ewell was assigned to frontier duty in the West. Between 1850 and 1860 he served at posts in New Mexico and Arizona, including Rayado (1850-1851), Los Lunas (1851-1856), and Fort Buchanan (1857-1860). During that time, he gained a reputation as being one of the country's premier frontier officers. He stayed in the saddle for weeks at a time, pursuing Apaches who attacked Mexican settlements and providing some small measure of law and order in an otherwise lawless society. Americans, Mexicans, and Apaches alike respected him for his judgment and fairness. According to one source, he was the only officer that the Apache warrior Cochise feared.

Ewell was on leave at his family home in Virginia, recovering from a near-fatal bout of malaria, when he learned that the state had seceded from the Union. Although opposed to secession, he promptly resigned from the U.S. Army and accepted a lieutenant colonel's commission in the Confederate army. On 1 June 1861 U.S. troops attacked his command at Fairfax Court House. Ewell was slightly wounded in the skirmish, making him perhaps the first southern field-grade officer to be wounded in the war. Perhaps in part because of his injury, he was promoted to brigadier general on 17 June.
Donald C. Pfanz, "Ewell, Richard Stoddert," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-00353.html.
Date Event
In Virginia, Captain John Quincy Marr becomes the first Confederate officer to die in the Civil War.
At Fairfax Court House, the first Confederate officer to die falls and the first Medal of Honor is won
- The first pitched battle of the war between armies results in a Union disaster at Bull Run
Stonewall Jackson wins a major victory at Winchester and drives Union forces back into Maryland
- In western Virginia, the second Battle of Winchester ends in heavy Union defeat
- General Albert Jenkins' Confederate cavalry occupy the Pennsylvania border town of Chambersburg
- The Second Corps of the Army of Virginia crosses the Potomac and marches on Pennsylvania
- In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Confederate troops occupy a town familiar to some of their officers
- In Carlisle, Rodes' infantry enjoy a brief but comfortable respite at the U.S. Army Cavalry School
Confederate patrols reach the Perry County line, the northern limit of the Pennsylvania invasion
In Pennsylvania, the Confederate Second Corps begins to pull back to concentrate on Gettysburg
At dawn, the last Confederate occupiers of Carlisle, Pennsylvania leave the town
- Battle of Gettysburg
- Confederate infantry beat back a Union reconnaissance-in-force across the Rapidan at Morton's Ford
The Battle of the Wilderness opens on ground fought over the year before at Chancellorsville
In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the Battle of the Wilderness continues for a second bloody day
In Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the Battle of the Wilderness ends and Union maneuvering continues
- In Virginia, Union attacks at Chaffin's Farm tighten the ring around Petersburg
The Confederate Government evacuates its capital of Richmond, hours before victorious Union troops march in
At Sailor's Creek, the Army of Northern Virginia loses almost a quarter of its remaining strength
In Virginia, CSA corps commander General Richard S. Ewell is taken prisoner, along with four of his generals
Chicago Style Entry Link
Martin, Samuel J.The Road to Glory: Confederate General Richard S. Ewell. Indianapolis: Guild Press of Indiana, 1991. view record
Pfanz, Donald. Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier's Life. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998. view record
How to Cite This Page: "Ewell, Richard Stoddert," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/5640.