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Lawson Botts Civil War Papers
2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment
Manuscript #00064 & related documents

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About this Collection

Lawson Botts was a Confederate officer who served with the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1825, the son of Thomas Hutchinson Botts and Anne Carter Willis. Botts entered the Virginia Military Institute in 1841 and spent two years at VMI, resigning before graduation because of his father's ill health. He subsequently studied law and established a practice in Charles Town, [West] Virginia prior to the Civil War. In 1859, he served as one of the lawyers assigned to defend the abolitionist John Brown. Botts married Elizabeth Bibb Ranson (1829-1909) in January 1851. The couple had four sons (Thomas, James, Lawson, Robert), and one daughter who died in infancy.

In 1859 Botts became Captain of a volunteer company known as the "Botts Grays." When the Civil War began, this unit entered the service of Virginia as Company G, 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, one of the units that comprised the famous Stonewall Brigade. Botts was commissioned Major in June 1861 and became Colonel in June 1862. He was praised for his conduct during several battles, including First Kernstown, First Winchester, Gaines's Mill, and Cedar Mountain. He was mortally wounded in action at 2nd Manassas on 28 August 1862 and died on 11 September. Botts is buried at Zion Episcopal Church Cemetery, Charles Town, WV. His half-brother, Walter Browne Botts, was a member of the Class of 1854; his father, Thomas H. Botts, served on the VMI Board of Visitors from 1839-1845.

The Botts papers consist of 6 documents dating from his service with the 2nd Virginia Infantry. Supplementary records from other collections in the VMI Archives are also viewable below.

Manuscript # 0064 -View the original documents
  • Receipt for cartridges, 1861 May 10
  • Commission and order to report to Gen. Johnston, 1861 Sept. 12
  • Promotion to Lt. Colonel, 1861 September 12
  • Order to assume duties of Provost Martial at Winchester, 1861 Nov. 18
  • Request for furlough, with endorsements, 1862 Jan. 10
  • Letter to Brigade A.A.G. expressing concern for lack of rest & food for his men, 1862 May 22.
View the original VMI Records
  • Letter, 1841 March 17.   From Thomas Hutchinson Botts to VMI Superintendent Francis H. Smith, regarding his son's VMI application
  • Letter of recommendation, 1841 June 18, in support of Lawson Botts's VMI application.
  • Letter, 1843 June 15,  From Thomas Hutchinson Botts, withdrawing his son from VMI
  • Letter, 1853 Dec. 7, from Lawson Botts to VMI Superintendent Francis H. Smith.
    Regarding his half-brother W. Browne Botts, VMI Class of 1854.