Robert D. Lilley

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Robert Doak Lilley
Robert D. Lilley.jpg
Born (1836-01-28)January 28, 1836
Greenville, Virginia
Died November 12, 1886(1886-11-12) (aged 50)
Richmond, Virginia
Place of burial Thornrose Cemetery, Staunton, Virginia
Allegiance Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch  Confederate States Army
Years of service 1861–65
Rank Confederate States of America General.png Brigadier General (CSA), temporary
Commands held Lilley's Brigade, Valley District
Other work financial agent at a college
Lilley (top row, fourth from left) with Robert E. Lee and Confederate officers, 1869.

Robert Doak Lilley (January 28, 1836 – November 12, 1886) was a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War. He served in most of the leading battles of the Army of Northern Virginia and led a brigade of infantry in the Shenandoah Valley in the last years of the war.

Early life and career[edit]

Robert D. Lilley was born near Greenville, Virginia to a military family. His father, James M. Lilley (1802–1875), a prominent landowner and patented inventor of surveying instruments, was commissioned in 1838 as a colonel in the Virginia militia.

Lilley studied at Washington College before beginning a career selling surveying instruments invented by his father.

Civil War service[edit]

In 1861, he joined the Confederate army as a captain of the Lee Rifles, which became a company in the 25th Virginia Infantry.

The 25th Virginia joined the Army of Northern Virginia as part of Elzey's Brigade in the division of Richard S. Ewell and fought with Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley. He received a commendation for his actions at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, and again at the Second Battle of Bull Run. After heavy losses throughout 1862, he was the senior officer in his regiment at the Battle of Antietam and commanded the unit.

In January, he was promoted to major, and after the Battle of Gettysburg he was cited again and promoted to lieutenant colonel. He was temporarily promoted to brigadier general on May 31, 1864 and given command of Pegram's old brigade of Virginia Regiments in Ramseur's Division of the Second Corps. He was left in command of the brigade when it was transferred to the Shenandoah Valley with Jubal A. Early to stop the Union advance there.

Lilley was wounded three times, lost an arm, and was captured at Stephenson's Depot on July 20, 1864. He was rescued four days later at Winchester and then rejoined his brigade.[1] He surrendered in April 1865 and was paroled at Staunton, Virginia on May 23.

Later life and career[edit]

In 1869 he became a financial agent at his alma mater, Washington College, renamed Washington and Lee College during his time there.

Robert D. Lilley died of paralysis in Richmond, Virginia on November 12, 1886, and is buried in Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Welsh, p. 140.
  2. ^ Eicher, p.348, Welsh, pp. 141.


External links[edit]