General Lee's 1862 Staff Officers



  Charles Marshal
lCharles Marshall
Charles Marshall joined General Lee's staff when Lee was functioning as military advisor to President Davis. He was the only staff officer who accompanied Lee to the McLean farmhouse at the surrender, although Walter Taylor had ridden with them to the vicinity of the Appomatox. After the war Marshall resided in Baltimore where he raised five sons while practicing law. He was a very visible public speaker who held himself out as an authority on the mindset of General Lee.
Walter Taylor, a graduate of VMI, was the first officer assigned to General Lee's staff, traveling with Lee to Georgia and West Virginia. Taylor was as close to Lee during the war years as anyone, being called upon, sometimes to his chargrin, to dine with Lee. In 1864, in letters to his wife, Taylor repeatedly referred to Lee as the Tycoon, a term popular then due to the opening of Japan. Taylor resided in Norfolk after the war, working as a banker. Unlike Marshall, Taylor, although he wrote two books, did not socialize with the group of officers who took on the role of guardians of Lee's record. Walter Taylor
Walter Taylor

Charles S. Venable
Charles S. Venable
Charles S. Venable was 35 years old in 1862. At the time the war broke out he had been a professor of mathematics for almost 15 years, holding positions at Hampton-Sidney College, the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina. The role he played on Lee's staff is the subject of some mystery.

  Robert Chilton acted as General Samuel Cooper's, the Adjutant General of the Confederate Army's, assistant, assigned to General Lee's HQ staff during the Maryland Campaign. The civil war historians and writers uniformly cling to the delusion that the lost order is in Chilton's handwriting. It is not. Whose handwriting the order is written in remains to be determined. Robert Chilton

Colonel T Talcott CSA Major T.M.R. Talcott, the son of an old friend of General Lee's, functioned on Lee's HQ staff as an aide during the Maryland Campaign. Later, he commanded an engineering regiment during Grant's Overland Campaign. Talcott had no apparent involvement in the handling of the Lost Order.  

  General Armistead Lindsay Long
During the Antietam Campaign, A.L. Long functioned as General Lee's military secretary. It appears from the record that Long had no personal knowledge of the handling of the lost order.
General A.L. Long CSA

Sectors of Lee's Operations-topography

Sharpsburg Campaign: Photo Album

Abraham Lincoln Picture Album

Exhibit Documents Collected by Joseph Ryan


The Battle of Antietam did not happen by accident, it was carefully planned, which turns the focus on Lee himself, the kind of man, general, that he was. He didn't wander around in confusion. He had a purpose, a mindset, an objective which he realized through maneuver.

If McClellan had seen through the ruse and had the courage, he would have raced straight for Crampton's Gap and Harper's Ferry, determined to wipe out McLaws's two divisions in Pleasant Valley and try to get between Lee and the Potomac, crushing Lee before he can reunite with Jackson.

If nothing else was certain, the movement would certainly have forced Lee to race for Williamsport and get back into Virginia. At which point, using the Ferry as his base, McClellan (if he had courage) would move toward Winchester to engage Jackson and Lee.......... Author               Position Paper

Joe Ryan

Joe Ryan Original Works


About the author:
Joe Ryan is a Los Angeles trial lawyer who has traveled the route of the Army of Northern Virginia, from Richmond to Gettysburg several times.

American Civil War Exhibits