Richard Stoddert Ewell was born in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., the third son of Dr. Thomas and Elizabeth Stoddert Ewell, and was the grandson of Benjamin Stoddert, the first U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
He was raised in Prince William County, Virginia, from the age of 3, at an estate near Manassas known as "Stony Lonesome."
He was 44 years old when the Civil War began.
Ewell proposed to Confederate President Jefferson Davis that in order for the Confederacy to win the war, the slaves must be freed and join the ranks of the army; he was also willing to lead the blacks into battle. But Davis considered that "impossible" and that topic never came up between him and Ewell again.
On January 24, 1862, Ewell was promoted and began serving under General Stonewall Jackson. Although the two generals worked together well, and both were noted for their quixotic personal behavior, there were many stylistic differences between them. Jackson was stern and pious, whereas Ewell was witty and extremely profane. Jackson was flexible and intuitive on the battlefield, while Ewell, although brave and effective, required precise instructions to function effectively. Ewell superbly commanded a division in Jackson's small army during the Valley Campaign, personally winning quite a few battles against the larger Union armies.
|Fighting at Malvern Hill|
|Portrait of Elizabeth "Lizanka" Campbell Brown Ewell|
On July 3, Ewell was once again wounded, but this time only in his wooden leg. He led his corps on an orderly retreat back to Virginia. His luck continued to be poor and he was wounded at Kelly's Ford, Virginia, in November. He was injured again in January 1864, when his horse fell over in the snow.
|Dead at Gettysburg|
|Confederate Dead at Spotsylvania Court House|
|Group of Confederate Prisoners at Fort Warren|
After his parole, Ewell retired to work as a "gentleman farmer" on his wife's farm near Spring Hill, Tennessee, which he helped to become profitable, and also leased a successful cotton plantation in Mississippi. He doted on Lizinka's children and grandchildren.
|The Ewell's Spring Hill Farm, Tennessee|
He and his wife died of pneumonia within three days of each other. They are buried in Old City Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee.
|Ewell Gravesite in Nashville, Tennessee|