Lewis Addison Armistead — Facts and APUSH Notes

February 18, 1817–July 5, 1863

APUSH Definition — Lewis Armistead (1817–1863) was an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He was mortally wounded during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

General Lewis Armistead, Civil War

Lewis A. Armistead was wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, at the High Water Mark of the Confederacy on Cemetery Ridge. Armistead died from his wounds two days later. Image Source: Wikipedia.

Who was Civil War officer Lewis Armistead?

Lewis Armistead was born in North Carolina in 1817 to a family with a military background. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1833 but resigned due to academic issues and conduct. His father obtained a commission in the army for him in 1839 and he served in the Mexican-American War, where he was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec. At the start of the Civil War, he joined the Confederate Army and rose to the rank of Brigadier General. He served in several battles, including the Battle of Gettysburg where he was shot and later died in a Union field hospital. He is buried in Baltimore, Maryland.

Battle of Gettysburg, Pickett's Charge
Battle of Gettysburg, Pickett’s Charge. Image Source: Library of Congress.

Lewis Armistead Facts for APUSH

Birth and Early Life

  • Full Name: His full name was Lewis Addison Armistead.
  • Parents: His parents were Walker Keith Armistead and Elizabeth (Stanly) Armistead.
  • Date of Birth: He was born on February 18, 1817.
  • Birthplace: He was born in New Bern, North Carolina.

Family Tree

  • Spouses: He was married to Cecelia Lee Love in 1844 and Cornelia Taliaferro Jamison in 1853.


  • Death: He died on July 5, 1863.
  • Place of Death: He died in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Burial: He is buried at Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.


  • He attended the United States Military Academy but did not graduate.


He worked as a military officer.

Career Summary

He was a Captain (USA), Brevet Major (USA), and a Brigadier General (CSA).


He was known as “Lo”.

Lewis Armistead — Summary of His Life and Accomplishments APUSH

  • Armistead’s grandfather, John Stanly, was a U.S. Congressman.
  • Armistead’s uncle, Edward Stanly, served as military governor of eastern North Carolina during the Civil War.
  • Armistead’s father and his five brothers served in the War of 1812.
  • Armistead’s uncle, George, commanded Fort McHenry during the British attack that inspired The Star Spangled Banner during the War of 1812.
  • Armistead entered the United States Military Academy in 1833 but resigned in 1835 due to academic deficiencies and poor conduct.
  • Armistead resigned from the United States Military Academy after an incident in which he broke a plate over the head of fellow cadet Jubal Early.
  • Despite the fact that Armistead did not graduate from West Point, his father was able to obtain a second lieutenant’s commission in the United States Army for his son on July 10, 1839.
  • Armistead was promoted to first lieutenant on March 30, 1844.
  • Armistead’s married Cecelia Lee Love, a distant cousin of Robert E. Lee, in 1844.
  • Armistead served in the Mexican-American War (April 25, 1846 – February 2, 1848), during which he was promoted to brevet captain and then to brevet major.
  • Armistead was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec (September 1847) during the Mexican-American War (April 25, 1846 – February 2, 1848).
  • Between the Mexican-American War (April 25, 1846 – February 2, 1848) and the American Civil War, Armistead served at numerous posts in the American West.
  • Armistead’s wife, Cecelia, died on December 12, 1850.
  • Armistead married his second wife, the widow Cornelia Taliaferro Jamison, in Alexandria, Virginia, on March 17, 1853.
  • Armistead’s second wife, Cornelia, died during a cholera epidemic, on August 2, 1855.
  • Armistead was promoted to captain in 1855.
  • When the American Civil War began, resigned his commission on May 26, 1861, left his post in San Diego, California and joined the Confederate Army.
  • Armistead was commissioned into the Confederate Army as a major on September 15, 1861.
  • Armistead was promoted to the rank of colonel on September 23, 1861.
  • Armistead was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on April 1, 1862.
  • Armistead served with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at the Battle of Seven Pines (May 31 – June 1, 1862), the Seven Days Battles (June 25 – July 1, 1862), the Second Battle of Bull Run (August 28 – 30, 1862), the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862), and the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11 – 15, 1862).
  • Armistead was assigned to duty as provost marshal of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia on September 6, 1862.
  • During the Battle of Gettysburg, Armistead was shot three times while leading his brigade during Pickett’s Charge on July 3, 1863.
  • During Pickett’s Charge, Armistead’s brigade got further than any Confederate troops, reaching their objective before being driven back by a Union counterattack. Some historians refer to Armistead’s advance as the High Water Mark of the Confederacy.
  • Although doctors did not believe Armistead’s Gettysburg wounds to be serious at first, he died in a Union field hospital two days later, on July 5, 1863.
  • Armistead is buried in Old Saint Paul’s Cemetery, at Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Armistead was a principal character in Michael Shaara’s popular 1974 novel, The Killer Angels, which was adapted as a feature film, Gettysburg, released in 1993.
  • Armistead’s nickname was “Lo,” short for Lothario, indicating a handsome and seductive ladies’ man. The nickname was a lighthearted allusion to the fact that Armistead’s personality was the opposite.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Lewis Addison Armistead — Facts and APUSH Notes
  • Date February 18, 1817–July 5, 1863
  • Author
  • Keywords lewis addison armistead
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date May 27, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 16, 2024