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Lawson Botts papers

Identifier: MS-0064
This collection consists of Civil War papers, including letter of commission, a promotion order, an order to assume duties of Provost Marshall in Winchester, Virginia, a letter to Captain O'Brien complaining about shortage of rations, a furlough request, and a receipt.


  • 1861-1862


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There are no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


6 items

Biographical / Historical

Lawson Botts was a Confederate officer who served with the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1825, the son of Thomas Hutchinson Botts and Anne Carter Willis. Botts entered the VMI 1841 and spent two years at VMI, resigning before graduation because of his father's ill health. He subsequently studied law and established a practice in Charles Town, [West] Virginia prior to the Civil War. In 1859, he served as one of the lawyers assigned to defend the abolitionist John Brown. Botts married Elizabeth Bibb Ranson (1829-1909) in January 1851. The couple had four sons (Thomas, James, Lawson, and Robert), and one daughter who died in infancy.

In 1859 Botts became Captain of a volunteer company known as the "Botts Grays." When the Civil War began, this unit entered the service of Virginia as Company G, 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, one of the units that comprised the famous Stonewall Brigade. Botts was commissioned as a Major in June 1861 and became a Colonel in June 1862. He was praised for his conduct during several battles, including First Kernstown, First Winchester, Gaines's Mill, and Cedar Mountain. He was mortally wounded in action at 2nd Manassas on August 28, 1862 and died on September 11 of that year. Botts is buried at Zion Episcopal Church Cemetery, Charles Town, West Virginia. His half-brother, Walter Browne Botts, was a member of the Class of 1854. His father, Thomas H. Botts, served on the VMI Board of Visitors from 1839-1845.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450