A Civil War Biography

Albert Gallatin Jenkins

Jenkins was born 10 November 1830 in Cabell County, Virginia. He graduated from Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania in 1848 and from Harvard Law School in 1850. He was admitted to the bar that same year but was involved in agricultural pursuits near Charlestown, Virginia and never established a law practice. He took an interest in politics and was a delegate to the National Democratic convention in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1856. He was elected to the US House of Representatives from the 11th district in 1856. He served in Congress from 4 March 1857 until 3 March 1861.

After Virginia left the Union Jenkins formed a cavalry company and became its captain. When the company became part of the 8th Virginia cavalry Jenkins became its lieutenant colonel. He soon was named colonel and commanded the 8th which operated independently in the western part of Virginia. In February 1862 Jenkins was elected to the Confederate Congress. He resigned his seat on 5 August 1862 after receiving an appointment as a brigadier general. After undertaking several raids in western Virginia and Ohio he was given command of a brigade in AP Hill's division. Jenkins commanded his brigade at Gettysburg where he was wounded on the second day. When he returned to duty he was assigned to JEB Stuart's cavalry corps as a brigade commander and served in the Shenandoah Valley and western Virginia mostly conducting independent raids. On 9 May 1864, while commanding troops at Cloyds Mountain, he was wounded and captured. In an attempt to save his life a Union surgeon amputated his arm but Jenkins never recovered. He died 21 May 1864.

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