Illustration of Theophilus H. Holmes

Theophilus Hunter Holmes (1804-1880) was born in North Carolina and served as governor of that state from 1821 to 1824. He graduated from West Point in 1829 in the same class as Robert E. Lee, then served as an officer in the Mexican War. He resigned his commission in the U.S. Army during the Siege…

Illustration of Milledge Luke Bonham

Brig. Gen. Milledge Luke Bonham (1813-1890) was a South Carolinian by birth and came from a military family. He fought in the Seminole War and as an officer in the Mexican War, then commanded the South Carolina Militia as a major general. He was a U.S. Congressman from 1857 to 1860 and governor of South…

Illustration of John B. Magruder

With his upturned mustache, large mutton chops, and plumed hat, “Prince John” Bankhead Magruder (1807-1871) cut a dashing figure. He was a veteran of the Mexican War and amateur actor with unconventional views on warfare for the time period. On April 21, 1861, four days after the Virginia Secession Convention formally adopted articles of secession,…

Illustration of Thomas J. Jackson

Thomas Jonathan Jackson (1824-1863) was born in what is today Clarksburg, West Virginia and graduated from West Point in 1846. He fought in the Mexican War, then taught at the Virginia Military Institute from 1851 to 1861. He was a devout Presbyterian and owned six slaves, mostly acquired through marriage. He established a Sunday school…

Illustration of Henry A. Wise

Henry Alexander Wise (1806–1876) was a Virginia lawyer and politician, serving as a U.S. Representative from 1833 to 1843 and Governor of Virginia from 1856 to 1860. As governor, Wise oversaw the imprisonment, trial, and execution of John Brown for his attack on the Harpers Ferry arsenal. Ironically, Wise organized an armed seizure of Harpers…

Page added for the Army of the Kanawha

The Confederate Army of the Kanawha was formed on June 6, 1861 under the commander of former Virginia governor Henry A. Wise. Its mission was to defend the Kanawha River Valley in what was then western Virginia (today the state of West Virginia). Despite its name, the Army of the Kanawha was never more than…

Illustration of Brig. Gen. Robert S. Garnett

For many years, photos of Robert S. Garnett were often mistaken for those of his more famous cousin, Richard Brooke Garnett (1817-1863), who was killed in Pickett's Charge during the Battle of Gettysburg. The existing images and illustrations (at least available online) leave something to be desired. Like many early-war Confederate officers who didn't go on to win fame, these images are grainy and low resolution.

Updated Illustration of Col. George A. Porterfield

Last week, I commissioned an illustration of Col. George A. Porterfield, who commanded Confederate forces at Philippi. You can view the results here. The illustration was decent, but not quite what I had in mind. I decided to go back and find a different illustrator. I'm glad I did! What Maul22 came up with was…

Illustration of Col. George A. Porterfield

Eventually, I intend to include profiles of the personalities central to the early Civil War in Virginia in this encyclopedia. Unfortunately, more than a handful didn't go on to win much fame, so finding quality contemporary photos or illustrations of them is difficult. I decided to hire an artist to create illustrations of these individuals…