About Samuel Garland, Jr.
Samuel Garland, Jr., (December 16, 1830 – September 14, 1862) was an American attorney from Virginia and Confederate general during the American Civil War. He was killed in action during the Maryland Campaign while defending Fox's Gap at the Battle of South Mountain.
Early life and career
The grandnephew of James Madison, Garland was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. His father, Samuel Garland, Sr., was a well known attorney, but died when his son was only five years old. Garland graduated third in his class from the Virginia Military Institute and completed law school at the University of Virginia when he was twenty. He married and fathered one child, a son also named Samuel. Garland practiced law in Lynchburg and helped organize a militia company, the "Lynchburg Home Guard," and was elected as their captain.
He continued as an attorney until his home state seceded from the Union in the spring of 1861. The company soon joined others to form the 11th Virginia Infantry, and Garland was commissioned as the regiment's colonel. However, personal tragedy soon struck, as on June 12, 1861, his wife died, and only three months afterwards, so did his infant son.
A grieving Garland saw action in July at First Bull Run, Dranesville, and Williamsburg, having been wounded at the latter. After promotion to brigadier general, Garland distinguished himself in the Seven Days Battles and the Second Battle of Bull Run. He gained a reputation for fearlessness under fire, which some believed stemmed from a deathwish.
When Gen. Robert E. Lee divided the Army of Northern Virginia in the Maryland Campaign, Garland's brigade was tasked with defending Fox's Gap, one of the passes in the South Mountain chain. On September 14, 1862, Union troops from the Army of the Potomac attacked in an attempt to seize the vital passes. During the spirited morning engagement at Fox's Gap, Garland was mortally wounded while defending a stone wall bordering one of farmer Daniel Wise's fields. He died within minutes. In his official report, D.H. Hill memorialized him, "This brilliant service, however, cost us the life of that pure, gallant, and accomplished Christian soldier, General Garland, who had no superiors and few equals in the service."
Garland's body was retrieved by Union troops and sent down the mountainside, where Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan ordered an honor guard to accompany the body until it could be transferred to Garland's friends and transported home. On September 19, 1862, Garland was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in his hometown of Lynchburg next to his wife and son.
The Samuel Garland Camp of the United Confederate Veterans was named in his memory, as was the later Garland-Rodes Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In 1993, the Central Maryland Heritage League, owners of parts of the Fox's Gap battlefield, erected and dedicated a commemorative marker near the spot of Garland's death.