Skip to Main Content

Our History: Featured Alumni/ae: Posey, Carnot, 1836

Over the decades our graduates have developed distinguished careers as justices, members of Congress, ambassadors, educators, business people, and community leaders in many fields. This site features some of those late graduates.

Arthur J. Morris Law Library

Law Library Home

Featured Alumni/ae

by Final Year at UVA Law




by Name

Carnot Posey

Brigadier General in Confederate Army

Carnot Posey was born near Woodville, Mississippi on August 5, 1818. He graduated from college in Jackson, Mississippi before studying law at the University of Virginia. He returned to his family's plantation and later established a law practice in Woodville. When the Mexican-American War erupted, Posey was commissioned a first lieutenant in the 1st Mississippi Rifles, a volunteer regiment commanded by future Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Posey fought at the Battle of Buena Vista, where he was wounded. Returning to Woodville after the war, Posey was later appointed the district attorney for southern Mississippi, a post he held when the state seceded from the Union.

Posey recruited a local militia company, the Wilkinson Rifles, and enlisted them into Confederate service, serving as their captain from May 21, 1861. They became part of the 16th Mississippi, with Posey being selected as the regiment's first colonel on June 4. He then saw action first at a skirmish near Corinth, Mississippi, and moving into the Easter Theater, he suffered a slight wound in June 1862 at the Battle of Cross Keys during Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign. His regiment fought through the Seven Days Battles with the Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee. He served as the temporary commander of the brigade of four Mississippi infantry regiments, commanded by Brig. Gen. Winfield S. Featherston, during the Northern Virginia Campaign and the Maryland Campaign. Posey's regiment fought at Fredericksburg in December 1862, successfully repelling a Union attack. In the spring of 1863 Posey was promoted to brigadier general with date of rank of November 1, 1862. 

The following May, Posey's Brigade saw limited action at the Battle of Chancellorsville, maintaining a reserve position at Salem Church. During the army reorganization following Stonewall Jackson's death, Posey's Brigade was assigned to Maj. Gen. Richard H. Anderson's division of the Third Corps. During the Battle of Gettysburg in July, the brigade was part of Anderson's July 2 attack on Cemetery Ridge.  During the fall campaign, Posey was wounded in the left thigh by a shell fragment at the Battle of Bristoe Station on October 14, 1863. He was initially taken to Culpeper Court House for medical treatment. In an era with limited understanding of germs, infection soon set in. After a month's struggle to live, Posey died at the home of a friend, Dr. John Davis, in Charlottesville, Virginia, in November 1863. Posey was buried in the Davis family plot in the cemetery of the University of Virginia.

previous next