Brigadier General John
Valley District Commander
John Daniel Imboden attained a high military leadership position by convincing men to commit to the cause of the Confederacy. He had been a lawyer prior to the Civil War, and he was twice elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. He had also been an officer in the state militia.
When the Civil War began, John D. Imboden organized the Staunton Artillery and became captain of the unit. He led troops in the capture of the United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry. His unit fought in the First Battle of Bull Run or Manassas. In the Spring of 1862, he organized the 1st Virginia Partisan Rangers. They participated in Major General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. Additional men were recruited, and the regiment was reorganized as a regular Confederate Army brigade. John D. Imboden was then promoted to brigadier general on January 28, 1863. Imboden's Raid in western Virginia cut the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and took much livestock. They screened the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg. The unit made a substantial contribution to the Confederate victory at the Battle of New Market. In the Shenandoah Valley Campaigns of 1864, they aided Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early's summer offensive, and they helped defend against Union Major General Philip Sheridan's fall offensive. In late 1864, John D. Imboden contracted typhoid fever, and he gave up his command. During the closing months of the Civil War, he commanded Confederate military prisoner of war camps in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
John Daniel Imboden was born near Staunton, Virginia on February 16, 1823. He attended Washington College, now Washington & Lee University, for two years. He taught school, and he ultimately became a lawyer in Staunton, Virginia. After the Civil War, he returned to the practice of law. He later tried to develop mining resources for a new steel industry in western Virginia. He died on August 15, 1895 in Damascus, Virginia.
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