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VMI's Civil War Generals
Robert E. Rodes, Class of 1848

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  • Biographical Information Robert E. Rodes photo
    • Early Life
      Robert Emmet Rodes, born Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 30, 1829; son of General David Rodes and Martha Yancey.
    • VMI record
      was graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in July 1848, standing 10th in a class of 24 graduates; Assistant Professor (Physical Science, Chemistry, Tactics) at VMI, 1848-1850.
    • Marriage
      In September 1857 married Virginia Hortense Woodruff (1833-1907), of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 2 children: Robert Emmet Rodes, Jr. (1863-1925) and a daughter, Bell Yancey Rodes (1865-1931).
    • Pre-Civil War
      In 1850 began Civil Engineering career, working on various railroad projects in Alabama and elsewhere in the south; in 1860 was elected Professor of Applied Mechanics at VMI, but never served in this capacity because of the outbreak of war.
    • Civil War
      May 1861 was commissioned Col. 5th Alabama Infantry Regt; Oct 1861 appointed Brigadier General, commanding his brigade at Fair Oaks, Gaines's Mill, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville; promoted Major General May 1863; led his division at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania; went to Shenandoah Valley in June 1864, where he served under Early and fought at Kernstown and elsewhere; killed at Winchester, VA, on 19 September 1864; buried Presbyterian Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA.