A Civil War Biography

Andrew Jackson Grigsby

Grigsby was born 2 November 1819 in Rockbridge County in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. He attended Washington College (now Washington & Lee) then moved to Missouri. He fought with a Missouri unit in the war with Mexico. Following his service he returned to Virginia and was teaching school in the Lexington District of Rockbridge County in 1860.

When the war began Grigsby was living in Giles County and joined the 27th Virginia infantry regiment which was forming in the county. Because of his previous military service he was appointed major of the 27th on 12 June 1861. He saw action at 1st Manassas, the 27th being part of what became known as the "Stonewall" brigade, and at Kernstown and was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 14 October. On 28 May 1862, during the early stages of the Jackson's Valley campaign, Grigsby was promoted to colonel and given command of the 27th. He saw action during the Seven Days and was wounded at Malvern Hill. He returned to duty in time to fight at 2nd Manassas. He was wounded at Groveton on 28 August 1862 but remained with his command. Two days later, on 30 August, following the death of William Smith Hanger Baylor, Grigsby succeeded to command of the "Stonewall" brigade. He commanded the "Stonewall" brigade under the ever watchful eye of its namesake and former commander during the capture of Harpers Ferry and at Sharpsburg, actually succeeding to division command following the wounding of John R. Jones and the death of William E. Starke. When Elijah F. Paxton, then only a major, was promoted to brigadier general and appointed to command the "Stonewall" brigade by Jackson, Grigsby and several other senior officers resigned on 19 November 1862. One of the popular theories was that Grigsby's profanity, which was legendary, was too much for the pious Jackson. More likely was that Jackson blamed Grigsby for the high casualty rate suffered by the 27th and that he didn't feel Grigsby was a strong enough disciplinarian. Following his resignation Grigsby would serve briefly with some Kentucky troops. He was a representative in Kentucky's Confederate House of Representatives serving as speaker in 1863 and 1864 and served as Counsel in France from 1864 until 1865.

Following the war Grigsby returned to Virginia where he farmed in Albemarle County until his death on 23 December 1895.

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