About John J. Garnett
John J. Garnett was only briefly a Third Corps battalion commander. He failed to make the grade as an artillery officer, even though he almost graduated from West Point.
Born in May 1839 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Garnett was scheduled to graduate from West Point with the class of 1861, but resigned to join the Confederacy. Joining the famous New Orleans unit, the Washington Artillery, he was made a lieutenant.
Garnett fought at First Manassas with the Washington Artillery. He was soon thereafter promoted to major on June 16, 1862 and made the chief of artillery for D.R. "Neighbor" Jones's division of Magruder's command. He apparently commanded a divisional artillery battalion at Seven Days, Second Manassas, and at Sharpsburg. He acted in the capacity of inspector at Fredericksburg, however, being made inspector of ordnance for the First Corps in November. In early 1863, he was given the command of the battalion of artillery attached to R.H. Anderson's division, joining the Third Corps with that unit for the Gettysburg Campaign.
Garnett was suspended from duty on Feb. 18, 1864. He was then relieved of all duty with the Army of Northern Virginia six weeks later on April 1 for incompetence. Chief of Artillery for the Army of Northern Virginia, William N. Pendleton, felt that Garnett was better qualified for conscript duty than for a field command. Hence, he was assigned to a post duty at Hicksford in September 1864, and finished the War as a lieutenant colonel and artillery inspector with the Army of Tennessee to date from November 30, 1864.
After the War he served in New York as newspaper editor. He wrote several things about the Civil War, including: Biographical sketch of General Robert Edward Lee, with his reports of the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and the surrender at Appomattox. New York, 1890 and Gettysburg. A complete historical narrative of the battle of Gettysburg, and the campaign preceding it. New York : J. M. Hill, 1888. Garnett committed suicide on September 10, 1902 in New York City.