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Brigadier-General Edward Willis

Brigadier-General Edward Willis, at the beginning of the civil war, was a cadet at West Point, having received his appointment through General Toombs, then United States senator from Georgia. When Georgia seceeded, young Willis resigned and returned home to defend his native State. In July, 1861, he was appointed adjutant of the Twelfth Georgia regiment, which was sent into West Virginia just after the defeat of the forces of Garnett and the successful invasion of McClellan. At Traveler's Repose, near the Greenbrier river, the regiment was camped for several months. From there it marched to the intended attack upon the fortified Union camp on Cheat mountain, and returning, was at this camp on the Greenbrier where the battle of October 3d took place which ended in the repulse of the Federals. While in winter quarters at Alleghany summit they were attacked by a large Federal force, which after a severe battle was completely beaten and forced to retreat. After this battle Adjutant Willis was appointed to a place on General Lee's staff, which he occupied during the year 1862. At the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, Colonel Scott, of the Twelfth Georgia, was killed, whereupon every officer in the regiment signed a petition asking President Davis to appoint Willis their colonel. It was promptly done, and under his gallant leadership the already famous regiment gained new laurels. At the battle of Chancellorsville, Colonel Willis commanded the skirmish line of Rodes' division. The historian of the Eleventh army corps (Union) says that so skillfully were these skirmishes handled by Willis and so deadly was their fire that it was an easy victory for the Confederates. He led his regiment in the Gettysburg campaign and in subsequent movements of the army of Northern Virginia during 1863. In the Wilderness and at Spottsylvania he was in the forefront with his command. At the North Anna river, in May, 1864, while in command of a brigade, he was mortally wounded by a grapeshot. While he lay

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