VMI's Civil War Generals
Raleigh E. Colston, Class of 1846

VMI Civil War Generals top level

  • Biographical InformationRaleigh E. Colston photo
    • Early Life
      Raleigh Edward Colston, b. Paris, France on October 31, 1825. Adopted son of Dr. Raleigh Edward Colston (1796-1881) and his wife Maria Theresa, Duchess of Valmey (ca. 1775-1845). The young Colston was sent to the United States in 1842, in care of his uncle Edward Colston of Berkeley Co. [West] Virginia, to complete his education.
    • VMI record
      Entered VMI on July 8, 1843; was graduated on July 4, 1846, standing 4th in a class of 14.
    • Marriage
      Louise Meriwether Bowyer of "Thorn Hill," Rockbridge Co., Virginia. Two daughters: Mary Frances and Louise Elizabeth.
    • Pre-Civil War
      Professor of French at VMI from 1846 until outbreak of war. In November 1859, he accompanied a contigent of VMI cadets assigned to guard duty at the execution of abolitionist John Brown.
    • Civil War
      Commissioned Col. 16th Virginia Infantry Regiment; 1862 Dec. appointed Brigadier General and led brigade under Longstreet in the Peninsula; given brigade under Jackson in April 1863 and commanded a division at Chancellorsville; served under Beauregard in defense of Petersburg in 1864; in command at Lynchburg at end of war.
    • Post-war
      Established military school in North Carolina;Colonel Egyptian army, 1873-1879; War Dept. clerk, 1882-1894; died 1896, at Soldiers' Home, Richmond, VA; buried Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.
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