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August 07, 2006


Michael C. Lucas

Interestingly enough Col. Francis Washburn was brevetted General by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant just before he passed to the ages. Thus becoming the last Union General to die from wounds received in battle at the end of the war. All three of the last Union Generals to die in April of 1865 were fighting near the High Bridge. Brvt.Gen. Theodore Read, Gen. Thomas Smythe, and Brvt.Gen. Francis Washburn.

Michael C. Lucas

Gen. Read was actually the 2nd to the last Union General killed during the war. Gen. Thomas Smyth was mortally wounded April 7TH between High Bridge and Farmville while Fighting Gen. John B. Gordons rearguard. Gen. Smyth died at Burkes Tavern April 9th the day of Lee's Surrender.


Michael, I'd be glad to do so. I have only one letter and it consists of just the final three pages. I'll send you the notes I've compiled about some of the references he makes as well. I'll scan it for you this weekend and forward via e-mail.

Best regards, GMT

Michael C. Lucas

I am researching Gen. Theodore Read, he was killed behind my property,could you send me a scan of his letters?


Thanks for the kinds words and for sharing your interest in what I wrote about McClellan and the Theodore Read letter. I was worried about spam so did not have an e-mail address on my site, but think I can now comfortably do so.

I have e-mailed you a complete transcript of the last three pages of the letter from Captain Theodore Read to (presumably) my Gr-gr-great Grandmother, and likely written in November 1862. I believe, but will have to confirm, that a collateral relation married his commander, General Brooks, which may have been the reason for Read's knowing my ancestor and writing to her. I was pleased and intrigued to find it among the papers in our rather substantial family archive when it came to me on the death of my great Aunt in 2003. This period in American history has been a passion of mine for close to 30 years (I'm 38). He is a fascinating character, as is McClellan, all the more so for the reason of his soldiers' love and history's condemnation that I cited in the post. I look forward to further discussion and thanks for writing!

Brian Downey

Hi Tim,

I'm very glad to find your post. I appreciate non-standard viewpoints on McClellan. The usual stereotypes are almost overwhelming, but your Read letter offers something else ...

I don't see an email adress for you anywhere. Would you please contact me at your convenience, I'm hoping to learn more of that letter. I think it and Read are of further interest in their own right(s) ...

bdowney +at+ aotw +dot+ org

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