Thomas R. Ranson

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Thomas D. Ranson of Staunton in Augusta County, Virginia, was a member of the Confederate Army and served in the Stonewall Brigade under General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson during the American Civil War.

Staunton, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Staunton is an independent city in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,746. In Virginia, independent cities are separate jurisdictions from the counties that surround them, so the government offices of Augusta County are in Verona, which is contiguous to Staunton.

Augusta County, Virginia County in the United States

Augusta County is a county located in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge of the U.S. commonwealth of Virginia. It is the second-largest county in Virginia by total area, and it completely surrounds the independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. The county seat of Augusta is Staunton, although most of the administrative services have offices in neighboring Verona.

The Stonewall Brigade of the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, was a famous combat unit in United States military history. It was trained and first led by General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, a professor from Virginia Military Institute (VMI). His severe training program and ascetic standards of military discipline turned enthusiastic but raw recruits into an effective military organization, which distinguished itself from the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861 to Spotsylvania Court House in 1864. Its legacy lives on in the 116th Infantry Brigade which bears the unofficial nickname "Stonewall Brigade".

Captain Ranson survived the War and is best remembered for an act of devotion and respect paid to his fallen leader, who died near Chancellorsville, Virginia on May 10, 1863.

Chancellorsville, Virginia Unincorporated community in Virginia, United States

Chancellorsville is a historic site and unincorporated community in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, about ten miles west of Fredericksburg. The name of the locale derives from the mid-19th century inn operated by the family of George Chancellor at the intersection of the Orange Turnpike and Orange Plank Road. The American Civil War Battle of Chancellorsville occurred there in May 1863, and the Battle of the Wilderness was fought nearby in May 1864. During the 1863 battle, Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson was wounded by friendly fire, dying eight days later on May 10, 1863, from pneumonia.

Ranson knew of the short and tragic life of Jackson's mother, who had been buried in an unmarked grave in Fayette County along the James River and Kanawha Turnpike when Thomas was orphaned at the age of only 7 in 1831.

Fayette County, West Virginia County in the United States

Fayette County is a county in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 46,039. Its county seat is Fayetteville. It is part of the Beckley, WV Metropolitan Statistical Area in Southern West Virginia.

The James River and Kanawha Turnpike was built to facilitate portage of shipments of passengers and freight by water between the western reaches of the James River via the James River and Kanawha Canal and the eastern reaches of the Kanawha River.

Several years after the war, during the 1880s, Ranson had a marble marker placed over the unmarked grave of Julia Neale Jackson (1798–1831) in Westlake Cemetery, to make sure that the site was not lost forever. Today, local folks in Ansted, in an area which became the new State of West Virginia, tend the gravesite of the young mother and speak of her little orphaned boy who grew up to be the legendary Stonewall Jackson. They also speak of Ranson's gesture, which is considered symbolic of the great affection his troops felt for Stonewall Jackson, who was a deeply religious and somewhat aloof man who put himself in harm's way on numerous occasions to protect his troops.

Ansted, West Virginia Town in West Virginia, United States

Ansted is a town in Fayette County in the U.S. state of West Virginia. The population was 1,404 at the 2010 census. It is situated on high bluffs along U.S. Route 60 on a portion of the Midland Trail a National Scenic Byway near Hawk's Nest overlooking the New River far below.

West Virginia State of the United States of America

West Virginia is a state located in the Appalachian region in the Southern United States and is also considered to be a part of the Middle Atlantic States. It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st largest state by area, and is ranked 38th in population. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

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