AUTHOR: Robert Taylor (edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter)
The burial place of Lewis Addison Armistead was a mystery to most people until 1939 when a Gettysburg Park official told people to look for his memorial at the Old St. Paul’s Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. The vault was established in 1811 at the Hugh-Armistead Family burial site. He was interred next to his uncle, Col. George Armistead, who had command of Ft. Henry during the War of 1812. Lewis Armistead was wounded at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863 as he commanded a brigade in Pickett’s charge within Union lines at The Angle. Severely injured and captured, he was taken to the Union field hospital on the George Spangler farm, south of Powers Hill. He died two days later. It is not known when his body was removed to Baltimore, Maryland.
On Feb. 18, 1817, Lewis Addison Armistead was born in New Bern, North Carolina, while his mother, Elizabeth Stanly Armistead, wife of Gen. Walter Keith Armistead, was visiting her parents, John and Elizabeth Frank Stanly. His grandfather, former Congressman John Stanly, was the namesake of Stanly County. Lewis Armistead’s uncle, Edward Stanley, was born in the same house in 1810. In 1862, Ed Stanley was appointed Military Governor of North Carolina by Abraham Lincoln. Stanley resigned from the job on Jan. 15, 1863 after he could not fulfill his goal of reuniting North Carolina with the Union.
It is said by most that Lewis Addison Armistead got expelled from West Point for breaking a dish over the head of fellow classmate, Jubal Early. Others suggest that he was expelled because of academic reasons. His nickname was “Lo.” According to his military records, “on July 10, 1839, he became second lieutenant in the Sixth United States Infantry. In March 1844, he was promoted first lieutenant, and in this rank entered the war with Mexico, in which he was distinguished, receiving the brevet rank of captain for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco, and brevet major for his services at Molino del Rey. Armistead continued in the army until the beginning of the [Civil War], being promoted captain in 1855” (Confederate Military History, vol. IV, p. 576). On Sept. 1, 1861, Lewis Armistead enlisted as a Colonel in the Confederate Army. On April 1, 1862, he was promoted brigadier general. Gen. Lewis Addison Armistead was my fourth cousin, five times removed, as we both descend from John Armistead and his wife, Judith Bowles Hone.