Contributed by: Diane Siniard
Brigadier-General Archibald C. Godwin Brigadier-General Archibald C. Godwin, though a native of Norfolk county, Va., was associated throughout the war with the troops of North Carolina. Being engaged in business in the latter State at the beginning of hostilities, he entered the Confederate service there and at first received a staff appointment. Afterward he was commissioned colonel of the Fifty-seventh infantry, with which he served in the vicinity of Richmond, Va., during the Maryland campaign. His first battle was at Fredericksburg, where his regiment formed a part of E. M. Law's brigade, Hood's division. On December 13th, during the fighting on Hood's right, a considerable force of the enemy defiled from the bank of Deep run, and advanced upon Latimer's battery, driving in the pickets and occupying the railroad cut. The Fifty-seventh, supported by the Fifty-fourth, was ordered forward, and the Federals were driven back and pursued some distance, after which the two regiments held the railroad until dark. General Hood reported that it was with much pleasure that he called attention to the gallant bearing of both officers and men of the Fifty-seventh, Colonel Godwin commanding, in their charge on a superior force of the enemy posted in a strong position. In the Gettysburg campaign his regiment was attached to Hoke's brigade, Early's division, Ewell's corps. He participated in the defeat of Milroy at Winchester, and the first day's battle at Gettysburg. Here Col. I. E. Avery, commanding the brigade, was mortally wounded, and was succeeded by Colonel Godwin, who retained command during the retreat. He was in command of three regiments of the brigade, the Sixth, Fifty-fourth and Fifty-seventh, during the disastrous affair at Rappahannock Station, November 7, 1863, and was sent across the river to occupy a tete-du-pont, in support of Hays' brigade. They were soon assailed by overwhelming numbers. Hays gave way, and Godwin soon found himse1f cut off from the bridge and completely surrounded. General Early reported that Colonel Godwin continued to struggle, forming successive lines as he was pushed back, and did not for a moment dream of surrender; but on the contrary, when his men had dwindled to sixty or seventy, the rest having been captured, killed or wounded, or lost in the darkness, and he was com- pletely surrounded by the enemy, who were in fact mixed up with his men, some one cried out that Colonel Godwin's order was for them to surrender, and he immediately called for the man who made the declaration, and threatened to blow his brains out if he could find him, declaring his purpose to fight to the last moment, and calling upon his men to stand by him. He was literally overpowered by force of numbers, and taken with his arms in his hands. These facts, said Early, were learned from Captain Adams, of Godwin's staff, who managed to make his escape after being captured, by swimming the river almost naked. They were in accordance with the character of Colonel Godwin, and General Early asked that a special effort be made to secure the exchange of the gallant officer. After returning to the army he was promoted brigadier-general in August, 1864, and assigned to the command of his old brigade, now mustering about 8oo men. He participated in the Shenandoah campaign under Early, until he fell, nobly doing his duty, in the fatal battle of Winchester, September 19, 1864.