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Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton

Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton

Male 1828 - 1863  (35 years)

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  • Name Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton 
    Born 4 Mar 1828  Rockbridge County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Military: Civil War 18 Apr 1861  Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Brigadier General, Civil War 
    • Name: Elisha Franklin Paxton
      State Served: Virginia
      Highest Rank: Brigadier General
      Birth Date: 1828
      Death Date: 1863
      Birth Place: Rockbridge County, Virginia
      Army: Confederacy
      Promotions: Promoted to Full Lieut (Rockbridge VA Rifles)
      Promoted to Full Major
      Promoted to Full Brig-Gen
      Biography: Brigadier-General Elisha Franklin Paxton

      Brigadier-General Elisha Franklin Paxton, who fell at Chancellorsville while leading the Stonewall brigade, was a native of Rockbridge county, Va., of Scotch-Irish and nglish
      descent.

      His grandfather, William Paxton, commanded a company from Rockbridge at the siege of Yorktown in 1781. His father, Elisha Paxton, served in the war of 1812.

      General Paxton was educated and graduated at Washington college, Va., and at Yale college, and in 1849, at the head of his class in the university of Virginia, was graduated in law. This profession he practiced with much success at Lexington until 1860, when failing eyesight compelled him to seek other occupation.

      He was engaged in farming near Lexington when the political campaign of 1860 was in progress, and his ardent emperament and strong convictions did not permit him to remain an indifferent spectator of the important events of that year.
      After the election he advocated the immediate secession of Virginia, and when that action was finally decided upon he sustained his words by deeds of self-sacrifice.

      He was first lieutenant of the Rockbridge rifles, the first of ten companies to go from that county, and left his home April 18, 1861, for Harper's Ferry. His company was attached to the first Virginia brigade, under Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, and at the first battle of Manassas, it formed a part of the Fourth Virginia regiment.

      In that memorable fight Lieutenant Paxton attracted attention by the conspicuous gallantry which ever afterward
      distinguished him as a soldier. Subsequently his company was
      assigned to the Twenty-seventh infantry, of which he was promoted major in October, 1861.

      In the following spring he became a member of General Jackson's staff, and later was appointed adjutant-general and chief of staff, Jackson's corps, army of Northern Virginia.
      On September 27, 1862, Jackson, having well tested his courage and ability, manifested great confidence in him by
      recommending the volunteer soldier for promotion to brigadier-general and assignment to command of the Stonewall brigade.

      The appointment was made by President Davis, and General
      Paxton took charge of the brigade November 15, 1862. His
      letters show that owing to a deep sense of the responsibilities of the rank and a modest estimate of his own qualifications, he accepted the command with much reluctance; but his subsequent record vindicated Jackson's judgment.

      He commanded the brigade in but two great battles, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At the former engagement he handled his troops with skill and promptness, and during part of the 13th occupied the front line of the division of General Taliaferro, by whom he was particularly mentioned in official report.

      On May 2, 1863, during Jackson's flank movement he was stationed to guard an important point, the Germanna junction, from which he was called to the main line the following night, after Jackson had fallen and the command had devolved upon Stuart.

      Early in the morning of Sunday, May 3rd, the attack was
      renewed with irresistible vigor, and Paxton led his men
      through the dense woods against the Federal position. Dismounting, he marched on foot in the front line of his brigade until they came within the enemy's fire, when he was
      instantly killed by a shot through the breast.

      Dr. R. L. Dabney relates that when the news of General
      Paxton's death was conveyed to General Jackson, then on his
      deathbed, the great commander showed much emotion, "and spoke in serious and tender strain of the genius and virtues of that officer."

      His loss was mentioned with appreciative reference to his
      ability and courage in the official report of General Lee. At the time of his death he was thirty-five years of age. His remains now lie within a few feet of his chief in Lexington cemetery.

      Source: Confederate Military History, vol. IV, p. 644
    Elisha Franklin 'Bull' Paxton
    Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton
    Name: Elisha Franklin Paxton
    Residence: Lexington, Virginia
    Occupation: Lawyer & Farmer
    Age at enlistment: 33
    Enlistment Date: 18 Apr 1861
    Rank at enlistment: 1st Lieutenant
    Enlistment Place: Lexington, Virginia
    State Served: Virginia
    Survived the War?: No
    Service Record: Commissioned an officer in Company B, Virginia 5th Infantry Regiment on 18 Apr 1861.Mustered out on 15 Jun 1861.Transferred to Company H, Virginia 27th Infantry Regiment on 15 Jun 1861.Promoted to Full Brig-Gen on 01 Nov 1862.Promoted to Full Major on 04 Aug 1862.Mustered out on 01 Nov 1862.Commissioned an officer in the Confederate States Gen. & Staff Infantry Regiment on 01 Nov 1862.Mustered out on 03 May 1863 at Chancellorsville, VA.
    Birth Date: 4 Mar 1828
    Sources: The Virginia Regimental Histories SeriesConfederate Military HistoryPhoto courtesy of Massachusetts Commandery of MOLLUS
    Died 3 May 1863  Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Paxton, Elisha Franklin 'Bull'
    Paxton, Elisha Franklin "Bull"
    Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton
    Paxton, Elisha Franklin 'Bull'
    Paxton, Elisha Franklin "Bull"
    Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton
    Notes 
    • Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. Born at Rockbridge City, Virginia, he was a graduate of Washington College, (now Washington and Lee), and Yale University, and studied law at the University of Virginia, ranking 1st in his class. He began his legal practice in Ohio before settling in Lexington, Virginia, in 1854. 5 years later he abandoned his profession because of failing eyesight. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, he enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Rockbridge Rifles, which became a company of the 27th Virginia Infantry. This regiment of Shenandoah Valley volunteers and 4 other Virginia regiments were brigaded under the command of Brigadier General Thomas J. Jackson. At First Bull Run, Jackson and his command earned enduring fame as "Stonewall" and the "Stonewall Brigade." In October 1861 he was elected Major of the 27th. Nicknamed "Bull," he lacked the ability to gain favor with his men and in the spring of 1862, he failed reelection. Jackson, who liked his fellow Lexingtonian, appointed him to his staff as assistant adjutant general with the rank of Major. He served Jackson during the campaigns of 1862, temporarily acting as chief of staff. On November 1, with Jackson's endorsement, the staff officer was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned to the command of the Stonewall Brigade. Jackson advanced him over all the regimental commanders, whom Jackson believed were not qualified for the post. The officers and enlisted men vehemently protested the appointment. Colonel Andrew Jackson Grigsby, commander of the 27th, led the protest, eventually resigning in disgust. He never had the opportunity to vindicate his selection by Jackson. The Stonewall Brigade held a reserve position at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December 1862. At Chancellorsville, on May 2, 1863, when Jackson's Corps routed the Union XI Corps in a surprise attack, his brigade again acted as support. The next morning, as the brigade prepared to attack in the early light, he was killed instantly by a minie ball. Today he rests today only a few feet from Jackson.
    Person ID I58800  MRP Tree
    Last Modified 4 Mar 2014 

    Father Elisha Hays Paxton,   b. 1785, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1866, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Margaret "Peggy" McNutt,   b. 8 Jul 1792, Lexington, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Sep 1856, Lexington, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years) 
    Family ID F19387  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth Hannah "Lizzie" White,   b. 12 Oct 1831, Rockbridge County Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Feb 1872, Rockbridge County Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years) 
    Children 
     1. Mary Louisa Paxton,   b. 16 Jan 1856,   d. 17 Jun 1856  (Age 0 years)
     2. Matthew White Paxton,   b. 27 May 1857,   d. 1935  (Age 77 years)
     3. John Gallatin Paxton,   b. 17 Sep 1858, Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Sep 1928, Independence, Macon, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
     4. James Paxton,   b. 1860
     5. Frank Paxton,   b. 2 Dec 1861,   d. 14 Aug 1946  (Age 84 years)
    Last Modified 4 Mar 2014 12:15:36 
    Family ID F19299  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 4 Mar 1828 - Rockbridge County, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 3 May 1863 - Chancellorsville, Spotsylvania, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Paxton, Elisha F.
    Paxton, Elisha F.
    Elisha Franklin Paxton
    Elisha Franklin 'Bull' Paxton
    Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton
    Elisha Franklin "Bull" Paxton

    Census
    1860 U.S. Federal Census
    1860 U.S. Federal Census
    Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Lexington, Rockbridge, Virginia; Roll: M653_1378; Page: 15; Image: 19; Family History Library Film: 805378


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