In the beginning
Robert E. Rodes was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1829. His father, a prominent lawyer, instilled in him a love of learning and an appreciation for military discipline. At the age of sixteen, Rodes enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute, where he excelled in his studies and developed a passion for military strategy.
After graduating from VMI in 1848, Rodes attended law school for a year before deciding to pursue a career in the military. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army in 1850 and was assigned to the Corps of Topographical Engineers. Rodes served in various locations across the United States, including Texas, California, and the Great Lakes region. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1853 and was tasked with surveying the Nebraska Territory.
In 1854, Rodes resigned his commission and returned to Virginia, where he worked as a civil engineer and a professor at the Virginia Military Institute. When the Civil War began in 1861, Rodes left his teaching position and joined the Confederate army as a captain. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to colonel in September of that year.
Rodes distinguished himself in several battles during the Civil War, including the First Battle of Manassas, where he played a key role in routing the Union forces. He also fought in the Battle of Sharpsburg, where he was wounded, and the Battle of Fredericksburg. Rodes was known for his tactical skill and his ability to read the terrain to gain an advantage over his opponents.
In 1863, Rodes was promoted to major general and was given command of a division in the Army of Northern Virginia. He fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, where his troops played a crucial role in the Confederate attack on the Union center. Rodes was wounded in the Battle of the Wilderness later that year but returned to duty in time for the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.
Rodes’ Untimely Demise
It was during Third Winchester that Rodes was killed by a Union shell on September 19th, 1864. His death was a blow to the Confederate army, which had lost one of its most talented and respected commanders.
Rodes was highly regarded by his fellow officers and soldiers, who considered him to be one of the most skilled and dedicated generals in the Confederate army. He was known for his discipline and his ability to inspire his troops, and he was admired for his courage and his devotion to the cause of the Confederacy.
A Confederate Hero
Today, Rodes is remembered as one of the most distinguished Confederate generals of the Civil War. His legacy lives on through the many books and articles that have been written about him, as well as the numerous monuments and memorials that have been erected in his honor. His contributions to the Confederate cause will never be forgotten.
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