Richard S. Ewell 1817–1872
Born Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
Richard S. Ewell was one of many West Pointers who sided with their southern homeland at the start of the Civil War. Under the command of General Stonewall Jackson, Ewell proved to be reliable, and effective enough to warrant taking over command of the Second Corps upon Jackson’s death in the spring of 1863, on the eve of the Gettysburg Campaign. That three-day battle ended in defeat for Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia; Ewell shared in the blame, perhaps unjustly, when he received contradictory and discretionary orders, and failed to occupy the high ground of Culp’s Hill. At the end of the war, Ewell oversaw the evacuation of Richmond in early April 1865. Days later, at the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, just prior to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Ewell and his command were surrounded and captured.