John R. Jones
John Robert Jones
|Born||March 12, 1827|
Rockingham, Virginia U.S.
|Died||April 1, 1901 (aged 74)|
Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S.
|Resting place||Harrisonburg, Virginia|
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Louisa Brashear Jones|
|Education||Virginia Military Institute|
|Occupation||educator, soldier, judge|
|Allegiance||Confederate States of America|
|Branch/service||Confederate States Army|
|Years of service||1861-1863|
|Unit||33rd Virginia Infantry|
48th Virginia Infantry
|Battles/wars||First Battle of Manassas, Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Seven Days Battles, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Chancellorsville|
John Robert Jones (March 12, 1827–April 1, 1901) was a Virginia educator who became a controversial brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, and later served as a commissioner in chancery in Harrisonburg.
Early and family life
A native Virginian, he was born in Rockingham, Virginia to David Jones (d. 1879) and his wife the former Harriet Yost (d. 1875). J.R. Jones had 3 brothers and three sisters. J.R. Jones graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. He then became the principal of a military school in Urbanna, Maryland.
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 acquitted in April 1863 after a month-long trial, but 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, near Smithsburg, Maryland. He was imprisoned for the rest of the war with no desire by Richmond authorities to affect an exchange.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
- Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 978-0-8160-1055-4.
- Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Confederacy: A Comprehensive, Illustrated Biographical Reference to More Than 1,000 of the Principal Confederacy Participants in the Civil War New York: Facts on File, 1988. ISBN 978-0-8160-2204-5.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 978-0-8071-0823-9.