“Stonewall Brigade”

The monument to Walker’s Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia is southeast of Gettysburg on East Confederate Avenue. (Tour map: East Confederate Avenue)

On May 30th, 1863, the Confederate War Department officially honored the brigade that “Stonewall” Jackson had commanded at Manassas by designating it as the Stonewall Brigade, the only Confederate brigade to have an official unit name.

The brigade was commanded at Gettysburg by Brigadier General James A. Walker, A Virginia attorney who had been expelled from the Virginia Military Institute in 1852 for challenging Professor Thomas Jackson to a duel. There were aparrently no lingering issues on either side, as ten years later Walker would be an officer in Jackson’s Brigade, taking temporary command of it at Sharpsburg and being given formal command as brigadier general in May of 1863 after Jackson on his deathbed recommended his promotion.

The brigade spent July 2nd guarding the left flank of the Confederate army from Union forces around Hanover Road, a job that should have been performed by Stuart’s cavalry had they been available. This kept the Stonewall Brigade from assisting in the failed attack on Culp’s Hill at a critical period when most of the Union defenders had been withdrawn to reinforce the defences around Little Round Top.

By July 3rd Stuart’s cavalry had taken over flank protection and the Stonewall Brigade joined the fight at Culp’s Hill. But by this time the Union defenders had returned with additional reinforcements and the attack failed.

From the monument:

C. S. A.
Army of Northern Virginia
Second Army Corps Johnson’s Division
Walker’s Brigade
2nd 4th 5th 27th 33rd Virginia Infantry

July 2. Guarded Division all day on its flank from Union forces in woods near by skirmishing with them sharply at times and finally driving them away. After dark crossed Rock Creek and rejoined the Division which had crossed about 6 P. M. and occupied part of the Union breastworks.

July 3. Took part in the unsuccessful struggle lasting from daybreak until near noon and then retired to the foot of the hill and from thence about midnight moved with the Division and Corps to Seminary Ridge.

July 4. Occupied Seminary Ridge. About 10 P. M. began the march to Hagerstown.

Present about 1450 Killed 35 Wounded 208 Missing 87 Total 330

See more on the history of the regiments of the Stonewall Brigade in the Civil War:

2nd Virginia – 4th Virginia – 5th Virginia – 27th Virginia – 33rd Virginia

Monument to Walker's Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg

Confederate Brigadier General James A. Walker

Confederate Brigadier General James A. Walker