Delegate to the 1861 Virginia Secession Convention
Colonel of the 27th Virginia Infantry of the "Stonewall Brigade"
Severely wounded at the 1st Battle of Kernstown, Virginia in 1862
(1823-96) Born at Lynchburg, Va., he graduated from Washington College, [later named Washington & Lee] Lexington, Va., studied law at Harvard, and was admitted to the bar in 1843. He served as attorney to the Commonwealth of Virginia, was a member of the Virginia General Assembly, and a delegate to the Virginia secession convention in 1861. A tall imposing man, standing 6 feet, 4 inches tall, Echols quickly became a leader among his peers. At the 1st battle of Manassas, Echols commanded the 27th Virginia Infantry, of the Stonewall Brigade, and he was seriously wounded at Kernstown during General Jackson's famous 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign. Promoted to brigadier general to rank from April 16, 1862, he served in western Virginia until 1864, as commander of the Department of Southwestern Virginia, and later as a brigade commander under General John C. Breckenridge. He took part in the Confederate victory at the battle of New Market, Va., in May 1864, where the gallant actions of the cadets of the Virginia Military Institute forever recorded their name in the highest annals of American military history. General Echols also saw action with General R.E. Lee's army at Cold Harbor, Va., during the Petersburg campaign. On April 2, Echols, with nearly 7,000 men, began a hasty march to unite with General Lee. He reached Christiansburg, Virginia, on April 10, where he received a telegram announcing General Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. At a solemn council of war, General Echols decided to march to unite with General Joseph E. Johnston's army, and he led two brigades southward towards North Carolina. Subsequently, he accompanied President Jefferson Davis to Augusta, Georgia. He served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1878–1881.
Signature: 3 1/4 x 1 1/2, bold pencil autograph, Jno. Echols.