Private James P. Fussell

By Danella Dickson

James P. Fussell was born June 28, 1839 Washington Parish, Louisiana, the son of John and Sarah Corkern Fussell. He was one of seven brothers who served during WBTS.

James enlisted March 8, 1862 at Franklinton, Washing Parish in Company I, 9th Louisiana infantry. As a private in this regiment James took part in the following engagements in 1862: 1st Winchester on May 25, Port Republic on May 25, Malvern Hill on June 27, Cold Harbor on June 29, 1862; Cedar Run on August 8 and 2nd Manassas August 28-30. James was wounded at 2nd Manassas and sent to the rear, in the confusion of war he was never heard from again but it was assumed he died.

A large number of wounded Confederate soldiers were evacuated by train and carried into Warrenton for treatment. Those who did not survive and buried in the cemetery. When Union soldiers   held the town during a cold 1863 winter, they used the wooden grave markers from Confederate soldier’s graves to keep warm and the names of most of those soldiers were lost.

The identities of those soldiers would remain unknown for more than 100 years until a family historian; Robert E. Smith from Illinois started a search for a Confederate ancestor in 1982. He spent 14 years searching through hospital records and regimental histories, and came across records from Warrenton field hospitals that “had been misfield in the National Archives”. Combined with his previous research, he was able to identify 520 of the 600 soldiers whose remains were buried in Warrenton’s mass grave.

The Black Horse Chapter #9 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy worked to create a monument to those soldiers, believing they deserved a grave marker, and the Wall to name the Fallen was conceived and built.

In the fall of 2011 the Warrenton Cemetery was given a historical plaque as part of Virginia’s Civil War Trails Program(1). But most important to us the monument list James P. Fussell, Co. I, 9th Regmt., d. September 11, 1862 (2).

At the age of 23 James P. Fussell gave his life in defense of the Confederate cause.

  1. Warrenton Virginia Cemetery – Notable Confederate Resting Place
  2. Find A Grave, Warrenton Cemetery, Fauquier County, Virginia

Find A Grave Memorial #11735151

(Courtesy of J.B. & Ramona Robert)