Jubal Anderson Early. Confederate Major General, American Civil War. b. 1816, d. 1894.
A native of Franklin County, Virginia and 1837 graduate of West Point, Early did extensive service in the Seminole Wars and the Mexican American War. As the outset of the Civil War, Early came out strongly in opposition to secession, but soon after joined the Confederate Army as a colonel.
In 1862 he rose to the rank of division commander. From then until 1864 he led a charmed command. He faced few defeats during this time, and any he did face were minor. In 1864 he rose to the rank of corps commander and took on an independent command in the Shenandoah Valley. On July 11, 1864 his troops entered the outskirts of Washington, DC and were such a major threat to the Union capital that front line Union troops were dispatched to drive him out of the region under heavy fire.
Early was as hated in the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania as William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip Henry Sheridan were in the south. After capturing Frederic, Maryland and Chambersburg, Pennsylvia, he levied high taxes to support his continuing campaigns. Frederic payed his levies of $200,000 but Chambersburg refused. As punishment for their disobedience, Early burned more than two-thirds of the city of Chambersburg.
Early's free reign in the Shenandoah Valley was about to come to a close. After his invasion of the outlying areas of Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant recalled General Phil Sheridan to take on Jubal Early. Sherman would hand Early two defeats, at Winchester and Fisher's Hill. Later, on October 12, 1864, Sheridan would arrive in time to prevent a victory by the Confederates at Cedar Creek and hand Early a defeat that would leave him reeling for the remainder of the war.