A Civil War Biography

John Robert Jones

Jones was born 12 March 1827 in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He attended the Virginia Military Institute, graduating in 1848. Prior to the war Jones was a teacher and the principal of a military academy in Maryland. Once the war broke out Jones returned to his home state and offered his services to the Confederacy.

He recruited and commanded as a captain the Rockingham Confederates, a company that became company I in the 33rd Virginia, the "Stonewall" Brigade. He commanded the company at First Manassas and during "Stonewall" Jackson's Valley campaign earning promotion to lieutenant colonel in early 1862. Jones was designated for promotion to brigadier general on 3 June 1862 but the Confederate Senate never confirmed the rank. He commanded the 2nd brigade in Jackson's old division at Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill where he was wounded. Jones returned to his command at Harpers Ferry, and at Sharpsburg where he again was wounded, when stunned by a shell that burst overhead.

He returned to his command the day before Fredericksburg. He commanded the 2nd brigade now attached to Trimble's division at Chancellorsville. It was at Chancellorsville that Jones left the field due to complaints of an ulcerated leg. He was relieved of duty and cashiered for cowardice. He was captured in Smithburg, Tennessee on 4 July 1863 and would remain imprisoned until the end of the war, the Richmond government showing no willingness to effect an exchange. Jones spent the years after the war in business and as a court official. He died 1 April 1901 in Harrisonburg.

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