February 18, 1817 The Awful Tragedy, of Friends at War

Today in History

Armistead is a prominent name in Virginia. The family goes back to colonial days. Five Armistead brothers fought in the war of 1812. Major George Armistead commanded Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s Star Spangled Banner.

Major Armistead became an uncle this day in 1817, to Lewis Addison Armistead, the first of eight children born to General Walker Keith and Elizabeth Stanley Armistead.

“Lothario” or “Lo” to his friends, Armistead followed the family footsteps, attending the Military Academy at West Point. He never graduated. Some say he had to resign after breaking a plate over the head of fellow cadet and future Confederate General, Jubal Early. Others say it was due to academic difficulties, particularly French class.

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Lewis Addison Armistead

Be that as it may, Armistead’s influential father gained him a 2nd Lieutenant’s commission awarded in 1839, about the time his former…

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