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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Jubal Anderson Early

JUBAL ANDERSON EARLY (1816-1894), American soldier and lawyer, was born in Franklin county, Virginia, on the 3rd of November 1816, and graduated at the U.S. Military Academy in 5837. He served in the Seminole War of 183 7-38, after which he resigned in order to practise law in Franklin county, Va. He also engaged in state politics, and served in the Mexican War as a major of Virginia volunteers. He was strongly opposed to secession, but thought it his duty to conform to the action of his state. As a colonel in the Confederate army, he rendered conspicuous service at the first battle of Bull Run. Promoted brigadier-general, and subsequently major-general, Early served throughout the Virginian campaigns of 1862-63, and defended the lines of Fredericksburg during the battle of Chancellorsville.. At Gettysburg he commanded his division of Ewell's corps. In the campaign of 1864 Early, who had now reached the rank of lieutenant-general, commanded the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley. The action of Lynchburg left him free to move northwards, his opponent being compelled to march away from the Valley. Early promptly utilized his advantage, crossed the Potomac, and defeated, on the Monocacy, all the troops which could be gathered to meet him. He appeared before the lines of Washington, put part of Maryland and Pennsylvania under contribution, and only retired to the Valley when threatened by heavy forces hurriedly sent up to Washington. He then fought a successful action at Winchester, reappeared on the Potomac, and sent his cavalry on a raid into Pennsylvania. A greatly superior army was now formed under General Sheridan to oppose Early. In spite of his skill and energy the Confederate leader was defeated in the battles of Winchester and Fisher's Hill. Finally, on the 19th of October, after inflicting at first a severe blow upon the Federal army in its camps on Cedar Creek, he was decisively beaten by Sheridan. (See: Shenandoah Valley Campaigns.) Waynesboro (March 1865) was his last fight, after which he was relieved from his command. General Early was regarded by many as the ablest soldier, after Lee and Jackson, in the Army of Northern Virginia, and one of the ablest in the whole Confederate army. That he failed to make headway against an army far superior in numbers, and led by a general of the calibre of Sheridan, cannot be held to prove the falsity of this judgment. After the peace he went to Canada, but in 1867 returned to resume the practice of law. For a time he managed in conjunction with General Beauregard the Louisiana lottery. He died at Lynchburg, Va., on the 2nd of March 1894. General Early was for a time president of the Southern Historical Society, and wrote, besides various essays and historical papers, A Memoir of the Last Year of the War, &c. (1867).

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Jubal Anderson Early'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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