Lunsford Lindsay Lomax or Lindsay Lunsford Lomax?

Another installment from the “Tales from the Tombstone series.”

On one of my last driving trips in Virginia before relocating, I passed through the town of Warrenton, Virginia. Rich in Civil War history, the Warrenton City Cemetery has a Confederate section, complete with a Virginia Civil War trails marker at the entrance. One of the more famous Civil War personas is buried there,  Colonel John S. Mosby, who turned Northern Virginia into his own Confederacy.

But, also buried there is another cavalry general, and he was actually the reason I took the detour.

Lunsford Lomax, a 1856 graduate of West Point, served with the 2nd U.S. Cavalry before resigning  his commission and casting his lot with the Confederacy. Initially serving out west he came east after a promotion to lieutenant colonel. He then received his full colonelcy when he was appointed commander of the 11th Virginia Cavalry prior to the Gettysburg campaign. His service during the campaign earned him a promotion to brigadier general.

As a brigade commander he served under fellow 1856 West Point classmate Fitzhugh Lee during the Overland Campaign until August 1864 when he was assigned to the Shenandoah Valley under Lieutenant General Jubal Early. He was present for the ensuing autumn campaign and escaped the Confederate cavalry debacle at the Battle of Tom’s Brook.

After the evacuation of Richmond, Lomax led the remaining cavalry in an attempt to reach Lynchburg to join Confederate forces there. This was unsuccessful and Lomax and what was left of his command turned south. He finally surrendered with Lieutenant General Joseph Johnston’s army at Bennett Place, North Carolina.

Lomax returned to farming in Virginia before being named president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1889 and later helped assemble and edit portions of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. One of his last professions saw him in service as a commissioner for Gettysburg National Military Park.

He lived well into the 20th century and passed away on May 28, 1913. 

Lunsford Lindsay Lomax or Lindsay Lundsford Lomax grave stone

Very interesting and storied career in military service; yet, the poor guy’s tombstone reads “Lindsay Lunsford Lomax.” Although a few historians have noted the first and middle name switch, the reason it occurred seems to have been lost. Even the aforementioned Civil War trails sign does not make note of it.

One of those interesting oddities of Civil War memory and remembrance.








*Due to the move, some of my pictures were lost on a hard drive and so the above photo is courtesy of Find Your*

3 Responses to Lunsford Lindsay Lomax or Lindsay Lunsford Lomax?

  1. In same cemetery is B/G WHF Payne (1830-1904) who (with other Fauquier Co. citizens) organized the famed Black Horse Troop (Co, H, 4th VA Cav.). Payne was wounded three times and a POW twice. After his last wound near Five Forks, he was extracted by Union soldiers from an angry mob near Warrenton, who had mistaken him for Lincoln assassin, Lewis (Payne/Paine) Powell.

  2. Poor General Irvin McDowell is buried as “Irwin” McDowell at the Presidio in San Francisco. On my bucket list is to investigate why this happened and, if feasible, remedy it. There may be a good reason to let it be. If so, I want to find it, and at least note it. Harry Smeltzer won’t let me do anything crazy, I promise.

    My husband’s relative is buried under the wrong name as well. It is very easy to visualize how the letters of Groeling ran together to become Groding, but it is such a family story that they think it is better left alone. Alas!!

  3. As I have portrayed Confederate Major General L L Lomax for the last 6ix years as a living historian, here is my input. The generals mothers maiden name was Lindsay. Family and close friends of General Lomax called him Lindsay as he was called growing up and through out his life.His actual birth name of record is Lundsford Lindsay Lomax as his West Point records indicate as well. His mother’s diary through out refers to him as Lindsay. Perhaps it was his wish to as well,but his family buried him as Lindsay Lunsford Lomax . WE thank you .

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