6th Alabama Regimental Officers

~~ 6th Alabama Infantry ~~
Brigade Commanders

  Richard Ewell     Robert E. Rodes
Edward Asbury O'Neal    Cullen Battle   

 Richard Stoddert Ewell.  
Served as Brigade Commander from 
July 21, 1861 until October 21, 1861

Born February 8 1817, Georgetown DC
Died January 25 1872, Spring Hill Tennessee

Photo of Richard Stoddert Ewell

Pre-War Profession Graduated West Point 1840, Mexican War, resigned May 1861.

War Service 1861 Lt. Col. of Virginia forces, staff Col. in Confederate army, June 1861 Brig. Gen., commanded 2nd Brigade at First Manassas, January 1862 Maj. Gen., commanded Ewell’s Division in Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign, Seven Days, Second Manassas (lost a leg at Groveton), May 1863 Lt. Gen., commanded II Corps, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, retired due to poor health, Richmond defenses, Sayler's Creek (c).

Post War Career Farmer.

Notes Blamed for not taking Cemetery Hill on July 1.

On the Internet General Richard Stoddert Ewell
                           Richard Stoddert Ewell, Old Baldy
                           Photo at the State Archives

Further reading
Martin, Samuel J "The road to glory : Confederate General Richard S. Ewell" Indianapolis, Guild Press of Indiana 1991. 


Robert Emmett Rodes 
Rodes Brigade
10/21/1861 to 9/19/1864

Born March 29 1829, Lynchburg Virginia
Died September 19 1864, Winchester Virginia
Notes A modest but inspiring leader.

Photo of Gen. Robert Emmett Rodes, 1848

Early Life
Robert Emmet Rodes, born Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 30, 1829; son of General David Rodes and Martha Yancey.

VMI record
Graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in July 1848, standing 10th in a class of 24 graduates; Assistant Professor (Physical Science, Chemistry, Tactics) at VMI, 1848-1850.

In September 1857 married Virginia Hortense Woodruff (1833-1907), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 2 children: Robert Emmet, Jr. (1863-1925) and a daughter.

Pre-Civil War
In 1850 began Civil Engineering career, working for the Northeast & Southwest Alabama Railroad as chief engineer on various railroad projects in Alabama and elsewhere in the south; in 1860 was elected Professor of Applied Mechanics at VMI, but never served in this capacity because of the outbreak of war.

Civil War Service  May 1861 was commissioned a Colonel in the 5th Alabama Infantry Regiment which he commanded at 1st Manassas.  Appointed Brigadier General 21 October 1861, when his new brigade became a part of Major General Daniel H. Hill's Division. During the Peninsular Campaign, Rodes' Brigade was present at the Siege of Yorktown,  fought at Seven Pines (where Rodes was wounded), Gaines' Mill, and Malvern Hill and suffered 50+% casualties. After Rodes' recovery, he led his brigade in rear guard action at South Mountain, Maryland. Fought at Sharpsburg where his brigade helped hold the Confederate center at the "Bloody Lane" and Rodes was again wounded and again, the brigade suffered severe losses. The Brigade was not engaged at Fredericksburg. Fall and winter enlistments brought the ranks up once more, and Rodes was made Division commander when Hill was sent to North Carolina. Rodes led Lieutenant General Stonewall Jackson's flank attack at Chancellorsville and won him a promotion to Major General. Promoted to Major General May 1863 and commanded Rodes' Division in II Corps at Spotsylvania. Rodes led the brilliant counterattack at the "Mule Shoe", but four months later, 19 September 1864, at the third battle of Winchester, he was killed directing a counterattack that allowed Jubal Early's army to retreat safely. He is buried Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Units to Serve in Rodes Brigade:  

3rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)
5th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)
6th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)
12th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)


Edward Asbury O'Neal

Born September 20 1818, Madison City Alabama Territory
Died November 7 1890, Florence Alabama

Notes Performed poorly at Gettysburg.

Photo of Edward Asbury O'Neal

Early Life: He attended LaGrange College (graduated 1836) and began the practice of law in Florence, Alabama, in 1840. He was active in local politics and the secession movement. 

Pre-War Profession Lawyer.

War Service At the outbreak of war in 1861, he joined the 9th Alabama Infantry and elected in October 1861 as Major in 9th Alabama Infantry Regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In March 1862  he received a commission as Colonel of the 26th Alabama Regiment.  In 1862  and fought in Virginia through 1863 (Peninsula Campaign where he was wounded at Seven Pines, Sharpsburg where he was again wounded, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg campaigns). O'Neal took command of Rodes' Brigade when Rodes was promoted to Division Command. However, his performance did not qualify him for promotion. At Gettysburg, for example, he kept to his 26th Regiment and allowed the other brigade regiments to flounder. His brigadier's commission was delayed and General Robert E. Lee appointed Brigadier General Cullen A. Battle brigade commander, angering O'Neal enough that he requested a transfer. President Jefferson Davis canceled the promotion and sent O'Neal and his regiment to the Atlanta front. After the fall of that city, O'Neal was relieved, sent to duty with the Conscription Bureau in Alabama, and served out the war there. 

Post War Career Lawyer, politician, governor. O'Neal resumed his legal and political activity during the Reconstruction period and was elected governor of Alabama in 1882 and 1884. After he retired to Florence, he died there, 7 November 1890.

Units to Serve in O'Neal's Brigade:  

3rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)
5th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)
6th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)
12th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Duration of the War)
26th Alabama Volunteer Infantry Regiment


Cullen Andrews Battle, (Battles Brigade) 

Born June 1 1829, Powelton Georgia
Died April 8 1905, Greensboro North Carolina

Photo of Cullen Andrews Battle

Early Life: Battle moved with his family to Eufaula and entered the state university to study law. He became an attorney in 1852 and was an ardent secessionist. He joined a local militia company and offered his services to Alabama immediately after the state seceded. 


Pre-War Profession Lawyer

War Service Without formal military training, Battle was a capable combat officer who learned the art of war with his troops. He distinguished himself as first a regimental, then a brigade commander. He was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel in the 3rd Alabama Infantry Regiment and saw his first action at Seven Pines. He was then promoted to Colonel and the regiment joined Rodes' Brigade where Battle continued to serve until war's end. At South Mountain, 14 September 1862, Battle faced 3 veteran Federal brigades while defending a barren hill north of the gap. In the onslaught, the 3rd Alabama broke, but Battle reacted with cool efficiency; likewise, at Antietam defending the "Bloody Lane," Battle and his men fought courageously. Rodes' Alabama Brigade, held in reserve, saw limited action at Fredericksburg, but at Chancellorsville, Battle participated in the division's surprise attack against the Union right flank. His performance at Gettysburg earned him promotion to brigadier General (on 25 August, dating from 20 August, 1863) and command of (now) Battle's Alabama Brigade. During the battles of 1864, the Alabamians suffered heavy casualties at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and in the Shenandoah Valley. In this last campaign, Battle led his brigade in a brilliant counterattack at 3rd Winchester before he was severely wounded at Cedar Creek (19 October 1864). The wound was incapacitating throughout the rest of the war. 

Post War Career Lawyer, politician, editor, mayor. After the surrender, Battle resumed his law practice in Alabama. He was elected to Congress in 1868 but refused to take the "ironclad oath." He eventually moved to New Berne, North Carolina, where he edited a newspaper. He died in Greensborough, 8 April 1905.

Notes Elected to Congress 1868, but refused to take the Ironclad Oath.

Units to Serve in Battle's Brigade:  

3rd Regiment, Alabama Volunteer Infantry (Duration of the War)
5th Regiment, Alabama Volunteer Infantry (Duration of the War)
6th Regiment, Alabama Volunteer Infantry (Duration of the War)
12th Regiment, Alabama Volunteer Infantry (Duration of the War)
61st Regiment, Alabama Infantry (January 1864 Replace the 26th at Orange Court House Virginia)

Further Reading: Brandon Beck " Third Alabama! The Memoir of General Cullen Andrews Battle, C.S.A." 2000 University of Alabama 


On Feb. 5, 2003, James D. Allen, creator of this website passed away
There is no doubt that he would want the work on the
6th Alabama Infantry to go on.
With that in mind, this site is dedicated to him.
We miss you, Jimmy.

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by Carolyn Golowka

Last Updated: Monday, May 05, 2003