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Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Confederate Military
Nephew of General John Garland [US]
Cousin married James Longstreet [CS]
Sister-in-law married Ulysses S. Grant [US]
One of eight Confederate generals hailing from the town of Lynchburg, Virginia, Samuel Garland was born on December 16, 1830. His father Maurice and uncle Samuel (Garland's namesake) were partners in a prestigious law firm in the city. A third brother was a judge, and the fourth was a respected general . Maurice died in 1835 and Samuel appears to have been raised by his extended family, although he remained close to his mother. An uncle brought him into Randolph Macon College at the age of 14.
When his maternal uncle left the following year, Samuel enrolled in Virginia Military Institute
Samuel Garland's unit was placed under the command of Colonel Jubal Early. He was made "brigade colonel" when Early was promoted to Brigadier General and was assigned by Early to support James Longstreet in the early fighting at Blackburn's Ford. Longstreet would write favorably about Garland:
At the first moment of this confusion it seemed that a vigorous pressure by the enemy would force us back to the farther edge of the open field, and, to reach that stronger ground, preparations were considered, but with the aid of Colonels Garland and Corse order was restored, the Federals were driven off, and the troops better distributed.
During First Manassas he again held a position near Blackburn's Ford, but was not engaged. At the battle of Dranesville, Garland's Virginia regiment participated in a operation with cavalry under the command of J. E. B. Stuart. His unit made an orderly withdrawal under orders from Stuart, after successfully protecting a wagon train of supplies foraged from the area.
On the Williamsburg line Garland, as commander of the Eleventh Virginia, charged a Union position in an abandoned redoubt held by Winfield Scott Hancock north of Fort Magruder. From A. P. Hill's report on the action near Williamsburg:
Colonel Garland, of the Eleventh, though wounded early in the action, refused to leave the field, and continued to lead his regiment until the battle was over, and his example had a most happy effect in showing his men how to win the victory.
At the Battle of Fair Oaks - Seven Pines, Harvey Hill, tired of waiting for Benjamin Huger to relieve him decided to push brigades under Samuel Garland and Robert Rodes [CS] forward on either side of the Williamsburg Road. George Anderson [CS] would support the movement behind and to the north of Garland. The choice of Garland to lead the men north of the road is surprising since he had just been promoted to brigadier and given command Early's brigade. Riding at the head of the lead column, Garland unexpectedly came upon a set of rapidly constructed Union works. He had his men deploy in a forest out of sight of the pickets while waiting for a prearranged signal to start the battle. Robert Rodes [CS] was to the south of Williamsburg Road about 15 minutes behind Garland because his men had run into problems.
Built by Erasmus Keyes, the fortification at Fair Oaks was designed to protect the important crossroads at Seven Pines. As Garland approached the picket lines the 103rd Pennsylvania was moving into position behind the pickets. They were raw recruits who had never seen a battle and they panicked, running for the safety of the rear. As Garland pursued the Yankees he struck Silas Casey's [US] line, forcing Casey's brigade back as he was being reinforced from the north by Darius Couch [US]. Within the hour he Yankees withdrew to Seven Pines with Confederates in pursuit. For the rest of the day Garland's men were involved in holding the Yankees (mostly Couch's and Phil Kearney's men) at Seven Pines.
Garland's last battle occurred at Fox Gap in South Mountain. Still in command of a brigade, Garland prepared to hold the gap at the summit against a superior Union force, a division under the command of Jacob Cox. He had been ordered to hold the gap at all costs by Harvey Hill to protect General Lee's supply train. J. E. B. Stuart sent a regiment of cavalry under Colonel T. L. Rosser and a battery of artillery to accent Garlands forces of 5 infantry regiments and an artillery battery.
Confederates, strewn piecemeal across the gap, watched as future President Rutherford B. Hayes advanced with a line of skirmishers. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Ruffin [CS], who was the only field officer with his regiment was shot in the hip. Garland advanced to assist the fallen soldier and take command of his regiment. As Garland stood over the injured Lt. Colonel, Ruffin urged him to move to a safer area. Garland turned to give an order and was mortally wounded. Although injured, Ruffin continued to command his men. He sent his adjutant to find out why the fighting in the vicinity had stopped and the adjutant returned with bad news - the brigade had been surrounded. Luckily, George B. Anderson [CS] pushed through the Yankees and relieved Garland's brigade.
Daniel Harvey Hill, Garland's commanding officer, would later write, "With him [Garland] the post of most danger was the post of honor"
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A. P. Hill
Samuel Garland was last changed on - December 22, 2007
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