Brigadier General Leroy Augustus Stafford
2nd Brigade of Johnson’s Division, Army of Northern Virginia
Leroy Augustus Stafford was born 13 April 1822 at Cheyneville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana. His father was Leroy Stafford, and his mother was his father’s second wife, Elizabeth, nee Callihan. He was raised on his father’s plantation. He attended preparatory school at Bardstown, Kentucky and college in Nashville, Tennessee.
Leroy married Sara Catherine Wright at Cheyneville on 24 August 1843. Sara was raised on her father Jesse Wright’s North Bend Plantation. She bore ten children for Leroy.
As the confrontation between the states drew near, Leroy was farming on his Greenwood plantation in his home Parish. He had served the Parish as its sheriff (1846 – 47) before enlisting in Company E, 3rd LA Inf Volunteers and participating in the Mexican War; thereafter, he joined the Texas Rangers for a period.
Although opposed to secession, in 1861 he organized a local company of men, Company C, known as the “Stafford Guards”. The company was assigned to 9th LA Infantry regiment in Alexandria, Louisiana when the state left the Union.
Leroy eventually became the commanding officer of the 9th Regiment and was captured at Fredericksburg. Later, he was lightly wounded at Antietam and still later, promoted to Brigadier General after displaying gallantry at Gettysburg.
While leading the 2nd Brigade of Johnson’s Division on May 5, 1864 at the Battle of the Wilderness, he was covering his unit’s realignment when he was struck through the torso and suffered a direct hit to his spinal column. He was removed to the Division’s rear and, although paralyzed below the wound, he continued to rally his men with verbal challenges. His wounding was mentioned by General Robert e Lee in his official report of the battle.
Gen Stafford was removed to Richmond where he was attended by medical personnel at the Spotswood Hotel. He died three days later on May 8. Following a funeral that was attended by Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife as well as much of the government and military leadership he was buried in the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.
Gen Stafford’s body was later exhumed and moved to a cemetery on his Greenwood Plantation in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.