Jubal Anderson Early

1816 - 1894

Jubal Anderson Early was the son of Colonel Joab Early who was the son of Jubal and Sarah Early. His great grandfather was Jeremiah Early Jr. Jeremiah Early, Jr. was the son of Jeremiah Early Sr. and Elizabeth Beauford. Elizabeth Beauford was the daughter of Thomas, Jr. and Elizabeth Beauford of Middlesex County, Virginia.

Jubal Anderson Early was the 3rd of three children. He had two brothers Samuel and Henry.

Jubal Anderson Early, known as "Old Jube" or "Jubilee",was a Major General in the Confederate States of America. He finished eighteenth out of fifty in the United States Military Academy Class of 1837. His area being artillery. After fighting in the Seminole War he resigned from the Army in 1838 to become a lawyer and was a member of the Virginia legislature as a Whig. He fought in the Mexican War and voted against Virginia's secession from the Union. However when Virginia did succeed he followed and fought for his state like so many other southerners of his day. He was commissioned Col. of the 24th Virginia regiment. After commanding the regiment at the first battle of Manassas (Bullrun), he was appointed Brigadier General Confederate States of America on the 21st of July, 1861, and led his brigade in the Peninsular campaign until he was wounded at Williamsburg. With the 4th brigade at the second battle of Manassas, he succeeded Lawton in command of Ewell's division at Antietam and continued to lead this unit at (the battle of) Fredericksburg. He was promoted Major General on the 23rd of April 1863 and continued to lead his division at (the battles of) Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness and Spotsyvania. He succeeded Ewell as Commanding General of 2nd Corp on May 29, 1864 and lead it at (the battle of) Cold Harbor. Taking the 2nd Corps, he was given, in June,1864, an independent mission, and undertook Early's Washington Raid. After the final defeat at Waynesboro on 2 Mar. 1865, he was relieved by a sympathetic Lee who had to bow to the people and to the clamoring press. Early then started west in disguise to reach Kirby Smith, but when General Smith surrendered, he went to Mexico and then to Canada. He considered emigration to New Zealand at one time, but he eventually returned to practice law at Lynchburg, and was employed by the Louisiana Lottery. While still in Canada he wrote A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the C.S.A. (1866). This was expanded into his better known Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative ... (1912). He was president of the Southern Historical Society and according to Freeman, "a prolific contributor to the Gettysburg controversy" (R. E. Lee, IV, 562). A 44-year-old bachelor at the beginning of the war, he was about six feet tall, weighed under 170 pounds, and was stooped by arthritis contracted in Mexico.

"His long [black] beard, his keen, flashing eyes, his satirical smile, his avowed irreligion, his incisive but not unmusical voice, and his rasping, mordant wit made him appear almost saturnine to those who did not know much of loyalty and of generosity he hid behind a forbidding front," Freeman says of him (Lee's Lts., I, 86).

Although unduly impetuous in his earlier battles, he developed into a sound commander whose record "from Cedar Mountain to Salem Church is second only to Jackson himself" (op.cit.,II,xxviii).

General Jubal A. Early's Headquaters Flag.

Type 2nd National.

Second national flags were also used at the headquarters of several general officers. They usually measured four feet on the staff and six feet on the fly and were made of bunting and cotton. General Early's flag was lost March 2, 1865, at the Battle of Waynesboro, Virginia. It was captured by the 22nd New York Cavalry Regiment which was one of the units under the command of General George A. Custer. The flag was returned to the State of Virginia on April 26 1905, by the U.S. War Department and is now at The Museum of the Confederacy. It measures 47 inches by 72 1/2 inches.
Text and flag picture taken from:
Emblems of Southern Valor, The Battle Flags of The Confederacy by Joseph H. Crute, Jr.

Gen. Early's grave site in Lynchburg, VA.

Photo taken by Robert Buford June, 1994

Return to Sacred Ground Main Page

The following information is taken from The Civil War Dictionary, Revised Edition by Mark M. Boatner III. Published by Vintage Civil War Library. Copyright 1959, 1988. Copyright revised edition -1987 by Mark M. Boatner III.