Early, Jubal (Anderson)(1816–94) soldier, lawyer; born in Franklin County, Va. A year after his graduation from West Point (1837), he resigned his commission to take up the law, although he had fought briefly against the Seminoles and then again in the Mexican War. He opposed secession but accepted the colonelcy of the 24th Virginia at the outset of the war and participated in many of the war's major battles. Early's July 1864 raid on Washington advanced to within three miles of the capital and caused a panic there, but on his retreat through the Shenandoah Valley he was defeated by Sheridan. At the war's end, he fled abroad until 1869, then returned to his law practice and to work with the Louisiana lottery. He served as president of the Southern Historical Society and his Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative was published in 1912.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.