Biography of General John Mercer Brockenbrough

John Brockenbrough (pronounced broke en throw) never was promoted to brigadier general, though he commanded a brigade in the Light Division and Third Corps in a few battles.

Born August 1, 1830 near Richmond, Brockenbrough was a farmer and a graduate of VMI, class of 1850. Appointed colonel of the 40th Virginia, his regiment served attached to Field's Virginia brigade in the Light Division and later Heth's division in the Third Corps. Brockenbrough led his regiment thru the Seven Days, assuming command of the brigade after Field was wounded at Second Manassas.

Brockenbrough led the brigade at Chantilly, Harpers Ferry, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg.

However, he was replaced as brigade commander when Heth joined the Light Division and resumed command of his regiment. When Heth took command of the division at Chancellorsville, Brockenbrough took command of the brigade yet again. He led the brigade at Gettysburg on the first day, but does not appear to have participated with it in the charge on the third day. Later in July he was relieved of the brigade command again and went back to the 40th Virginia. He led the regiment at Bristoe and Mine Run. On January 21, 1864 Brockenbrough resigned, likely because his former lieutenant colonel, Henry Walker, had been promoted over his head to general and command of the brigade.

Brockenbrough died on August 24, 1892 in Richmond. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery there.

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