kids encyclopedia robot

Jubal Early facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Jubal Anderson Early
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Franklin County
In office
Preceded by Wyley P. Woods
Succeeded by Norborne Taliaferro
Personal details
Born (1816-11-03)November 3, 1816
Franklin County, Virginia, U.S.
Died March 2, 1894(1894-03-02) (aged 77)
Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
Resting place Spring Hill cemetery, Lynchburg
Political party Whig
Alma mater United States Military Academy
Profession Military officer, politician, Lawyer
Nicknames "Old Jube"
"Old Jubilee"
"Bad Old Man"
Military service
Allegiance United States of America (1837–1838, 1847–1848)
 Confederate States (1861–1865)
Branch/service Seal of the United States Board of War.png U.S. Army
 Confederate Army
Years of service 1837–1838
Rank Union army maj rank insignia.jpg Major (U.S.)
Confederate States of America General-collar.svg Major General (C.S.)
Confederate States of America General-collar.svg Lieutenant General (temporary)
Commands Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Army of the Valley
Battles/wars Seminole Wars
Mexican-American War
American Civil War

Jubal Anderson Early (November 3, 1816 – March 2, 1894) was a Virginia lawyer and politician who became a Confederate general during the American Civil War.

Early life and family

Jubal Early House
Early's childhood home in northeastern Franklin County

Early was born on November 3, 1816, in the Red Valley section of Franklin County, Virginia, third of ten children of Ruth (née Hairston) (1794–1832) and Joab Early (1791–1870). The Early family was well-established and well-connected in the area.

Joab Early served in the Virginia House of Delegates part-time (1824–1826), and become the county sheriff and led its militia, all while managing his extensive tobacco plantation of more than 4,000 acres using enslaved labor. His eldest son Samuel Henry Early (1813–1874) became a prominent manufacturer of salt using enslaved labor in the Kanawha Valley (of what became West Virginia during the American Civil War), and was a Confederate officer.

Jubal Early had the money to attend local private schools in Franklin County, as well as more advanced private academies in Lynchburg and Danville. He was deeply affected by his mother's death in 1832. The following year, his father and Congressman Nathaniel Claiborne secured a place in the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, for young Early, citing his particular aptitude for science and mathematics. He passed probation and became the first boy from Franklin County to enter the Military Academy.

Early military, legal and political careers

Upon graduating from West Point, Early received a commission as a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery regiment. Assigned to fight against the Seminole in Florida, he was disappointed that he never even saw a Seminole and merely heard "some bullets whistling among the trees" not close to his position. His elder brother Samuel counseled him to finish his statutory one-year obligation, then return to civilian life. Thus Early resigned from the Army for the first time in 1838.

Early studied law with local attorney Norborne M. Taliaferro and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1840. Franklin County voters the next year elected Early as one of their delegates in the Virginia House of Delegates (a part-time position); he was a Whig and served one term alongside Henry L. Muse from 1841 to 1842. After redistricting reduced Franklin County's representation, his mentor (but Democrat) Norborne M. Taliaferro was elected to succeed him (and was re-elected many times until 1854, as well as become a local judge). Meanwhile, voters elected Early to succeed Talliaferro as Commonwealth's attorney (prosecutor) for both Franklin and Floyd Counties; he was re-elected and served until 1852, apart from leading other Virginia volunteers during the Mexican–American War as noted below.

During the Mexican–American War, Early volunteered and received a commission as a Major with the 1st Virginia Volunteers. During Early's time at West Point, he had considered resigning in order to fight for Texas' independence, but had been dissuaded by his father and elder brother. He served from 1847 to 1848. Major Early was assigned to logistics, as inspector general on the brigade's staff under West Pointers Col. John F. Hamtramck and Lt. Col. Thomas B. Randolph.

His legal career was not particularly remunerative when he returned. He handled many cases involving slaves as well as divorces, but owned only one slave during his life.

American Civil War

Accepting a Virginia and later Confederate military commission as the American Civil War began, Early led Confederate troops in most of the major battles in the Eastern Theater, including the Seven Days Battles, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Battle of Gettysburg, and numerous battles in the Shenandoah Valley during the Valley Campaigns of 1864.

Lee also appreciated Early's aggressive fighting and ability to command units independently. Most of Early's soldiers (except during the war's last days) referred to him as "Old Jube" or "Old Jubilee" with enthusiasm and affection. (The "old" referred to a stoop because of the rheumatism incurred in Mexico.)

Postbellum career

Jubal Early disguised as a farmer, 1865
General Early, disguised as a farmer, while escaping to Mexico, 1865

When the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on April 9, 1865, Early escaped to Texas on horseback, hoping to find a Confederate force that had not surrendered. He proceeded to Mexico, and from there sailed to Cuba and finally reached (the then Province of) Canada. Despite his former Unionist stance, Early declared himself unable to live under the same government as the Yankee. While living in Toronto with some financial support from his father and elder brother, Early wrote A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence, in the Confederate States of America (1866), which focused on his Valley Campaign. The book became the first published by a major general about the war. Early spent the rest of his life defending his actions during the war and became among the most vocal in justifying the Confederate cause, fostering what became known as the Lost Cause movement.

President Andrew Johnson pardoned Early and many other prominent Confederates in 1869, but Early took pride in remaining an "unreconstructed rebel", and thereafter wore only suits of "Confederate gray" cloth. He returned to Lynchburg, Virginia, and resumed his legal practice about a year before the 1870 death of General Robert E. Lee. Early spent the rest of his life in "illness and squalor so severe that it reduced him to continual begging from family and friends."

Jubal Anderson Early, bust, facing left, in civilian clothes
Early in his elder years

In 1873, Early was elected president of the Southern Historical Society, an association he continued until his death. He frequently contributed to the Southern Historical Society Papers. With the support of former Confederate General William N. Pendleton, Early also became the first president of the Lee Monument Association, and of the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Death and legacy

Confederate general Jubal A. Early, in full dress uniform by John Wycliffe Lowes Forster
Confederate general Jubal A. Early, in full dress uniform 1912

Early tripped and fell down granite stairs at the Lynchburg, Virginia post office on February 15, 1894. A medical examination found no broken nor fractured bones, but noted Early suffered from back pain and mental confusion. He failed to recover during the next few weeks and died quietly at home on March 2, 1894. His doctor did not specify an exact cause on the death certificate.

Virginia's flag flew at half-mast over the Capitol the afternoon of the funeral, and canons boomed 36 times at five minute intervals. A procession of VMI cadets, 300 Confederate veterans and local militia accompanied the flag-draped casket and riderless horse with reversed stirrups to St. Paul's Church. Early was buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in Lynchburg.

The Library of Congress has some of his papers and the Virginia Historical Society also holds some of his papers.

The Lost Cause that Early promoted and supported was continued by memorial associations such as the United Confederate Veterans (founded 1889) and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (founded 1894), as well as by his niece Ruth Hairston Early.

Jubal Early's final book, Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative of the War between the States, was published posthumously (after death) in 1912. Early's recent biographer noted that Early understood the struggle to control public memory of the war, and that he "worked hard to help shape that memory."


  • The only ferry still operating on the Potomac River, at White's Ferry, is named General Jubal A. Early.
  • A major thoroughfare in Winchester, Virginia is named "Jubal Early Drive" in his honor.
  • Virginia Route 116 from Roanoke City to Virginia Route 122 in Franklin County is named after him, the "Jubal Early Highway," and passes his birthplace, as identified by a historical highway marker.
  • His childhood home, the Jubal A. Early House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 and maintained in part by a private foundation.
  • Fort Early and Jubal Early Monument can be found in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Streets named after him

Gen. Jubal A. Early Ferry
Gen. Jubal A. Early Ferry
  • Jubal Early Drive, Forest, Virginia
  • Jubal Early Court, Potomac, Maryland
  • Jubal Early Highway, Boones Mill, Virginia
  • East Jubal Early Drive, Winchester, Virginia
  • West Jubal Early Drive, Winchester, Virginia
  • Jubal Early Lane, Conroe, Texas
  • Jubal Early Drive, Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Jubal Early Drive, Petersburg, West Virginia
  • Early Street, Lynchburg, Virginia

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Jubal Anderson Early para niños

kids search engine
Jubal Early Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.