On today in 1817, Confederate General James Archer exists in Harford County, Maryland.
Archer received his education at Princeton Universitybefore servingwith the Maryland volunteers through the Mexican War (1846-48). He earned a brevet promotion (an honorary promotion usually given for battlefield heroism) to major for bravery at the Battle of Chapultepec through the Mexico City campaign. After the war,he practiced law before joining the U.S. Army in 1855. Archer served in the Pacific Northwest, so when the Civil War broke out, he joined General John Bell Hood’s Texas Brigade in the Confederate army.
Archer fought with the Army of Northern Virginia through the entire war. He earned a promotion to brigadier general for hisperformance at the Battle of Seven Pines, Virginia,in June 1862, and his brigade played an integral role through the Seven Days Battles in Virginia later that month. He was ill through the army’s invasion of Maryland in September 1862, so he relinquished his command for the Battle of Antietam.
In 1863, Archer marched north to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,within Henry Heth’s division in A.P. Hill’s corps. This placed him in the center of battle’s initial action on July 1. Archer led an attack on the biggest market of the Union line on Seminary Ridge that has been so successfulhe and his men were take off from all of those other Confederates. He was captured, the initial Confederate general from the Army of Northern Virginia to be captured since Robert E. Lee assumed commandin June 1862. Coincidentally, Archer’s old friend, General Abner Doubleday, commanded the Union force that captured Archer. When he saw Archer being resulted in the trunk, he rode up and extended a handshake and said he was pleased to see hisfriend. Archer reportedly retorted, “Well, I’m not glad to see you by a damned sight!”
Archer happened at prisons in Ohio and Delaware for greater than a year before he was exchanged in August 1864. After his release,he received orders to come back to hisformer brigade, that was now serving within Hood’s Army of Tennessee in Atlanta. Prison life, however, had compromisedArcher’s health insurance and his orders were changed. He was sent instead to the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia. His health continued to deteriorate and he died there on October 24, 1864, at age 46.