Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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KERSItAW, Joseph Brevard, soldier, born in Camden, South Carolina, 5 January, 1822. He was educated at academies in South Carolina, admitted to the bar in 1843, and was a member of the state senate in 1852-'7, and of the state convention of 1860. He raised the 2d South Carolina regiment for the Confederafe army, and commanded it at the first battle of Bull Run in July, 1861. He was made brigadier-general, 13 February, 1862, commanded a brigade in McLaws's division through the peninsula campaign of that year, and afterward held the sunken road at Fredericksburg against the assault of the National troops. His command led the attack of Longstreet's corps at Gettysburg, where he lost more than half his brigade. After engaging in the battle of Chickamauga and the siege of Knoxville, he returned to Virginia in 1864 as major-general, and commanded a division in the final campaigns of Lee's army. He held the National forces in check at Spottsylvania until the arrival of Lee, was at Cold Harbor, in Early's valley campaign, and in the rear of Lee's army at Sailor's Creek, where he surrendered on 6 April, 1865. He was then imprisoned at Fort Warren till July, 1865, when he resumed his law-practice in Camden, South Carolina, and was a member of the state senate in 1865-'6, serving in the latter year as president. In 1870 he prepared for the conservative convention the resolutions that were adopted by that body, recognizing the recent constitutional amendments as accomplished facts and entitled to obedience. In 1877 he was elected judge of the 5th circuit of the state, which office he now (1887) holds.
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