Archibald C. Godwin
|Archibald C. Godwin|
Nansemond County, Virginia
|Died||September 19, 1864 (aged 32–33)
|Place of burial||Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia|
|Allegiance||Confederate States of America|
|Service/branch||Confederate States Army|
|Years of service||1861-1864|
Archibald C. Godwin was born in Nansemond County, Virginia in 1831, the son of Jonathan Lewis and Julia Campbell Godwin. Before his first birthday, he was moved to Portsmouth, Virginia to live with his grandmother. He was educated in Portsmouth. Around the age of nineteen he went to California hoping to strike it rich mining for gold. He was able to build a fortune on gold mining, cattle, timber and real estate. In 1860, the 6'6" Godwin lost the Democratic Party nomination for governor by one vote.
Godwin returned to his native state when the American Civil War broke out in 1861. He initially served as a captain and then major in the provost and acted as assistant provost marshal in charge of Libby Prison. Jefferson Davis assigned Godwin the task of constructing the prison stockade in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was transferred to the front taking the colonelcy of the 57th North Carolina Infantry on July 17, 1862.
Godwin's first action came at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862. He also served as a member of Robert F. Hoke's Brigade during the Fredericksburg phase of the Chancellorsville Campaign. Hoke had been wounded and was replaced by Colonel Isaac E. Avery. Godwin marched under the command of Avery to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863 participating in the attack on Cemetery Hill on July 2 at the Battle of Gettysburg. With the mortal wounding of Colonel Avery, Godwin temporarily assumed command of the brigade and led it back into Virginia and until November 7, 1863 when he was captured at Rappahannock Bridge. He was exchanged in 1864, and promoted to brigadier general commanding what had formerly been Hoke's Brigade on August 5.
On September 19 he was killed at the Third Battle of Winchester. He had acquired a reputation for being quite cruel to Union captives. There had been some discussion after the war of trying Godwin for war crimes until it was discovered that he was already dead. Godwin is buried at Stonewall Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia. There is also a monument for him at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Portsmouth, Virginia.
- Sifakis, Stuart. Who Was Who in the Confederacy, Facts on File, 1989, ISBN 978-0-8160-2204-5
- Sifakis, Who Was Who in the Confederacy