Brig. Gen. Walker Keith Armistead, USA

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Walker Keith Armistead

Birthplace: New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia, United States
Death: October 13, 1845 (62)
Upperville, Upperville, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Upperville, Fauquier County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Bowles Armistead and Lucy Page Armistead
Husband of Elizabeth Armistead and Elizabeth Armistead (Stanly)
Father of Brigadier General Lewis Addison Armistead, (CSA); Lucinda Stanly Carr; Brig. General (CSA), Lewis "Lo" Armistead; Betty Armistead; Virginia Baylor Armistead and 7 others
Brother of William Armistead; Lucy Baylor Armistead; Mary Burwell Carter; Addison Bowles Armistead; John Baylor Armistead and 2 others

Managed by: Private User
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About Brig. Gen. Walker Keith Armistead, USA

Walker Keith Armistead (1785 – October 13, 1845) was a military officer who served as Chief of Engineers of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

He was born in Virginia. During the War of 1812, he was successively Chief Engineer of the Niagara frontier army and the forces defending Chesapeake Bay. He was promoted to colonel and Chief Engineer on November 12, 1818. When the Army was reorganized on June 1, 1821, he became commander of the 3d Artillery. He was brevetted brigadier general in 1828. He succeeded Zachary Taylor as commander of the army during the Second Seminole War against the Seminole Indians in Florida in 1840–1841.

Armistead died in Upperville, Virginia.

His brother George Armistead commanded Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. The attack became immortalized by onlooker Francis Scott Key who penned The Star Spangled Banner while watching the British bombardment of Armistead's fort.

His son Lewis Addison Armistead was a Confederate general who died during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Walker Keith Armistead, Chief Engineer

Chief Engineer

(November 12, 1818-June 1, 1821)

Born in Virginia in 1785, Walker Armistead was named a cadet in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers by President Jefferson in 1801. On March 5, 1803, he became the third graduate of the new Military Academy and was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. He served as superintending engineer of the defenses of New Orleans and Norfolk. During the War of 1812, he was successively Chief Engineer of the Niagara frontier army and the forces defending Chesapeake Bay. He was promoted to colonel and Chief Engineer on November 12, 1818. When the Army was reorganized on June 1, 1821, he became commander of the 3d Artillery. He was brevetted brigadier general in 1828. He commanded the United States troops that opposed the Seminole Indians in Florida in 1840-41. He died in Upperville, Virginia, October 13, 1845. (Source:


W. K. Armistead Tombstone

Armistead Family Cemetery, Upperville, Fauquier County, Virginia. Tombstone reads: Brevet Brigadier General Walker Keith Armistead, Colonel of the U.S. 3d Regiment of Artillery, Son of John and Lucy Baylor Armistead of Caroline County Virginia, Born 25th March 1773 an died 13th October 1845


Armistead Brothers - War of 1812 From the speech by Rev. James E. Poindexter at the presentation of the portrait of Lewis A. Armistead to R.E. Camp No. 1, C.V., Richmond, Virginia, January 29, 1909 ( st1.html):

The Armistead family, coming direct from England, settled in Virginia in 1636, and became ere long a family of soldiers. Five brothers, three of them in the regular army, took part in the war of 1812. Col. George Armistead, the oldest of the five, defended Fort McHenry. The flag which waved over it during the bombardment, which Key immortalized as the "Star Spangled Banner," was long guarded as a sacred heir-loom by his descendants. It is now laid up in the National Museum. A second brother, Lewis Gustavus Adolphus, named for the Swedish hero, "The Lion of the North," fell at Fort Erie. Walker Keith Armistead, the father of our old chief, graduated at West Point in 1803, fought in Canada, closed the Seminole war, and was, when he died in 1845, second in command in the regular army. Miss Stanley, who became his wife, was a native of the old North State, and so it happened that Lewis A. Armistead was born at Newbern, N. C., in 1817.


Fire in Virginia at WK and EF Armistead's Home

Fire in Virginia. Ben Lomond, near Upperville, Va., the residence of the late General Walker K. Armistead, and since occupied by his widow, accidentally caught fire on Sunday night last, and was burned down. All the furniture was consumed.

Source: Fire in Virginia (News Article)

Date: 1852-06-24; Paper: Sun (Maryland)



Colonel John Armistead is the ancestor who assisted in establishingAmerican Independcne, while acting in the capacity of Colonel in theRevolutionary Army. He was Colonel in the continental Army. He marriedLucy, daughter of Colonel John Baylor, March 17, 1764. "All the sons ofthis marriage where inbued with martial spirit. One of the sons, my grandfather, Gen. Walker Keith Armistead, was one of the first graduatesof West Point; passed successfully through all gradation of office fromLieutenant to that of General, was commanding General during part of the Seminole War;- Commanded at Fortress Monroe during the war of 1812, andwould havebeen the commanding General in the Mexican War but for hisdeath, which occurred the night he received his appointment. His deathpassed the rank to Gen. Taylor." "The above mentioned Armisteads are of the "Armisteads of Hesse," who, according to Bishop Meade, and the oldVestry books were in Virginia from before the year 1677."


My great-grandfather, Gen. Walker Keith Armistead, was one of the first four graduates from West Point; an oil portrait of him hangs in the West Point Military Academy - I believe in the LIbrary. He fought inthe Seminole War, in Florida, and at the outbreak of the war with Mexico was appointed Gen. in Chief of the U. S. army in Mexico, but died of a heart attack the day he received the dispatches. Gen. Zachary Taylor was, I believe, appointed in his place. His son, Lewis Armistead (a young Lieutenant at that time) distinguished himself at the taking of a fortress at Chapultepec. Afterwards when in command of a small fort on the Indian frontier, a large and of hostile Indians rode up to the Chief, took hold of his horse's forelock and turned him around, motioning forthe Indians to leave; they wer apparently so surprised that they didso. This was told my mother by a man (I think County Clerk) here in San Jose who was a soldier in the for at the time; - Louis Spitzer. During the Civil War as Gen. Lewis Armistead, he led Pickett's Division at Gettysburg -- leading his men up a hill to take the Unionbatteries; he carried his hat on the point of his sword in order thathis men might distinguish him and follow him. He was badly wounded and carried by Union soldiers into the tent of Gen. Hancock (a close friend) where he died. Years before the Civil War, his young wife had died, leaving an infant son. My mother's father Maj. W. I. Newton was stationed at Fort Washita, Indian Terriotroy (now Oklahoma), with himwas the wife and infant daughter (my mother) Elizabeth Stanley; young Capt. Armistead brought his infant son to his sister -- the brother,Armistead Newton, was talented and Brilliant, but dissipated and worthless; he disappeared many years (about 50) ago; we have neverheard what became of him, but he must be dead. The sister, Cornelia Love Newton, eloped with a wild young man, a Lieut. in the U. S. army, a gambler and a drunkard; she died, leaving two sons, Newton and James Gore; Newton is in a Sanitarium in southern California, the probably victim of his own and his father's sins; James is in San Francisco (1289 2nd Avenue) he has two sons and a daughter.

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Brig. Gen. Walker Keith Armistead, USA's Timeline

March 25, 1783
New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia, United States
November 1, 1815
Alexandria, Alexandria, Virginia, United States
February 18, 1817
New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina, United States
February 18, 1817
New Bern, Lenoir County, NC, United States
February 18, 1821
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
New Bern, New Bern, North Carolina, United States
MD, United States
MD, United States