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John D. Imboden


General John David Imboden (February 16, 1823-August 15, 1895) was born near Staunton, Virginia, and enrolled at Washington College (later Washington and Lee University) at age 16. A school teacher and attorney with a law office in Staunton, he served two terms in the Virginia Legislature.

At the outbreak of the Civil War he entered Confederate service as captain of the Staunton Artillery, a light battery which he formed and subsequently commanded at the initial capture of Harpers Ferry in 1861. Captain Imboden fought in the battle of First Manassas in July 1861, and in 1862 he organized the 1st Virginia Partisan Rangers, later known as the 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry. He participated in the battles of Cross Keys and Port Republic, Virginia, under Stonewall Jackson, and in January 1863 was appointed brigadier general. In the spring of 1863, he led one contingent of the famous Jones Imboden Raid through present West Virginia, during which he cut the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad line and captured large numbers of cattle. Imboden guarded the Confederate left flank in the advance on Gettysburg and performed with distinction in covering Lee’s retreat. He later served at New Market, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek, and other battles. In the autumn of 1864, he contracted typhoid fever and was relieved of command.

After the war Imboden resumed his law practice and was active in the development of mining resources in his area. He was the business partner and older brother of George W. Imboden, a Fayette County coal operator. John D. Imboden died at Damascus, Virginia.

Written by Tim McKinney


  1. Faust, Patricia L., ed. Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War. New York: Harper Collins, 1986.

  2. Delauter, Roger. The 62nd Virginia Mounted Infantry. Lynchburg: H. E. Howard, 1988.