Gen. John Echols House

Gen. John Echols House (HM1493)

Location: Union, WV 24983 Monroe County
Country: United States of America

N 37° 35.55', W 80° 32.532'

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Confederate General from Union

This is the home of John Echols, lawyer and general in the Confederate army. A graduate of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, he also attended the Virginia Military Institute and Harvard University.

After John Brown's failed Harpers Ferry Raid in 1859, Echols formed a militia company designated the Monroe Guards. Two years later, it was incorporated into the 27th Virginia Infantry as Co. D. Lt. Col. Echols served as the regiment's commander. Severely wounded at the First Battle of Kernstown in March 1862 he convalesced and then was promoted to brigadier general. Echols was active in the occupation of the Kanawha Valley and then placed in command of the entire Department of Western Virginia. Echols commanded the Confederate forces at Droop Mountain on November 6, 1863, where he was defeated by a Union army larger than his. This marked the end of all practical armed Confederate resistance in West Virginia. When Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant broke the Siege of Petersburg in April 1865 and forced Gen. Robert E. Lee to retreat westward, Echols rushed with 7,000 men to join Lee. Learning of Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Echols then tried to join with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army in North Carolina, but Johnston also surrendered. Echols accompanied Confederate President Jefferson Davis to Georgia in his flight from Richmond until Davis's capture in Georgia. Echols subsequently settled in Staunton, Virginia, practiced law, helped develop the region's mineral resources, and served in the Virginia House of Delegates (1877-1880).

(Sidebar): The Monroe Guards left Union on May 13, 1861, with 108 men. At the First Battle of Manassas the regiment served in Gen. Thomas J. Jackson's brigade and suffered heavily in the defensive line that earned Jackson the nickname "Stonewall." Capt. Hugh Tiffany and five other Guards were killed, and eleven were wounded. After the battle, Jackson chose Pvt. Michael A. Foster to receive a wreath of flowers from the women of Lexington for the brigade's bravery. Gen. Robert E. Lee called him the brigade's "bravest and most efficient soldier." Foster was severely wounded during the Siege of Petersburg in 1864, left for dead on the field, and captured. The Monroe Guards fought in more than 70 engagements in every major campaign of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. When the regiment surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, only 21 men were present, just two of whom were Monroe Guards.
Details
HM NumberHM1493
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Tags
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 8:29pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 540415 N 4160702
Decimal Degrees37.59250000, -80.54220000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 35.55', W 80° 32.532'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 35' 33.00" N, 80° 32' 31.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 105 Green Hill Rd, Union WV 24983, US
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