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Jones, John R. - Brig. Gen.

Brigadier General John R. Jones entered the Confederate service as captain of a company of the Thirty-third Virginia regiment, Stonewall brigade, and shared the services of that command at First Manassas and in the Valley campaign of May and June, 1862, winning promotion to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment. On June 3, 1862, he was promoted brigadier-general and assigned to the command of the Second brigade of Jackson's division. In this capacity he served at Cold Harbor and Malvern Hill, until wounded in the night following the latter battle. His command in this campaign was composed of the Forty-eighth, Forty-second and Twenty-first Virginia regiments, the First Virginia battalion, the Hampton artillery and Jackson's battery. He resumed command of his brigade, which had fought under Bradley T. Johnson at Second Manassas, after it had reached Frederick in the march through Maryland. He then assumed command of Jackson's division, and was in charge of it at Harper's Ferry. After the surrender of that post he marched at 1 o'clock on the morning of the 16th of September to reinforce Lee at Sharpsburg. There he took position on the extreme left. His brigade and Winder's (Stonewall) formed his front line, and the two, numbering less than 400 men, attacked at 6 o'clock on the morning of the 17th, held back the enemy for nearly an hour, then retired to the second line, and after remaining for half an hour under a terrific storm of shot and shell, advanced and repulsed the enemy. Jones, disabled by the explosion of a shell above his bead, early in the battle turned over the command to Brig.-Gen. William E. Starke, who fell in the fight, leaving Col. A. J. Grigsby in command of the Stonewall division. Jones' own brigade was successively commanded by Capts. John E. Penn, A. C. Page and R. W. Withers, the first two of whom each lost a leg. The division numbered about 1,600 at the beginning of the fight, and lost about 700 in killed and wounded. He commanded his brigade at Fredericksburg, and at Chancellorsville, on the-first day, where the Second and Third brigades, Jackson's division, were the first to charge upon and capture the first line of entrenchments of the enemy, in an open field beyond Wilderness church. On account of his disability the brigade was commanded next day by Col. T. S. Garnett until the latter was killed, when Col. A. S. Vandeventer succeeded him.

Confederate Military History, Vol. III, pages 614-615

John R. Jones

John Robert Jones (1827 - 1901) was Virginia businessman and soldier who was a controversial brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Jones raised a volunteer company, the Rockingham Confederates, which became Company I, 33rd Virginia Infantry. He began his career as captain of that company and fought at the First Battle of Manassas. In early 1862, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 33rd. He fought in General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign in the spring of 1862 and was appointed to command a brigade in the Stonewall Division. He commanded the brigade throughout the Seven Days fighting at the Battle of White Oak Swamp and Malvern Hill, where he was wounded.

Jones rejoined the army during the Maryland Campaign and took command of the Stonewall Division, leading it in capturing the Union outpost at Harpers Ferry. At the Battle of Antietam, he was stunned by a shell burst. Though not actually wounded, he was forced to relinquish command. Following the Maryland Campaign, he was tasked with rounding up deserters in the Shenandoah Valley.

Jones rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia the day before the Battle of Fredericksburg, when he returned to command his old brigade. After Fredericksburg, charges of cowardice were levelled against him by several subordinates, who claimed he had used a tree for protection. He was again charged with cowardice for leaving the Chancellorsville battlefield because of an ulcerated leg. He was never given a field command again and was seized by Federal troops on July 4, 1863, in Tennessee. He was imprisoned for the rest of the war with no desire by Richmond authorities to affect an exchange.

After the war, he was a businessman and a minor office holder in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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