27th North Carolina / Company B - "Guilford Greys"
Enlisted: 18 April 1861 - Age 23
Elected 3rd Lieutenant - 20 April 1861
Elected 2nd Lieutenant - 5 October 1861
Elected Major - 6 January 1862
Promoted to Lt. Colonel and transferred to Field & Staff - 1 November 1862
Promoted to Colonel - 5 December 1862
Wounded at Fredericksburg - 13 December 1862
Wounded at Bristoe - 14 October 1863
Resigned commission and retired to invalid corps as a result of Bristoe wound - 11 January 1865
Buried: Green Hill Cemetery, Greensboro, NC
Greensboro, N. C., Wednesday, March 23, 1892.
Another One of Greensboro's Great Men Passes Over The River
Greensboro was again visited by the angel of death last Thursday morning at a little after 1 o'clock and again it was one of our most useful and honored citizens -- Judge J. A. Gilmer. Col. Gilmer had been in poor health for a number of years, and a few months ago he was stricken down by the disease that has at last taken him from us.
John Alexander Gilmer was born in April, 1838. He was prepared for college at the Greensboro High School. He graduated at the University of North Carolina with distinction, June, 1858, and afterward read law at the University of Va.
He went into the
service of the Confederate Army on April 18, 1861, as third lieutenant of the
Guilford Grays, and upon the organization of the 27th N.C. Infantry, in which
the Grays was Co. B, he was detailed as adjutant of the regiment Sept.,
1861. Was elected Major, Dec., 1861;
promoted to Colonel Nov., 1862; slightly wounded at Fredericksburg Dec. 13,
1862; and severely wounded at Bristow, Oct. 13, 1863. This wound disabled him for active service
and he resigned his commission Jan., 1865.
This wound made him a cripple for life and at times often caused him
Immediately after the war he was associated with his father in the practice of law, and upon his father's death became a member of the law firm of Dillard, Ruffin, and Gilmer.
He was State Senator in 1870-71, representing the district composed of Guilford and Alamance counties.
Upon the death of Judge Kerr, in 1879, he was appointed his successor by Gov. Jarvis.
In 1880 he was elected to fill the unexpired term of Judge Kerr, and in 1882 he was again elected Judge for a full term; but tendered his resignation in February, 1890.
At the time of his death, and for several years previous, he was a trustee of the University of North Carolina.
He was a consistent member of the First Presbyterian church of this city, and for several years had been one of its Ruling Elders.
John A. Gilmer was gentle and unassuming in his manner -- a brave and fearless soldier -- a Christian gentleman -- and beloved by all who knew him. He leaves a wife and three children for whom the sympathy of the community is deeply felt and warmly expressed.
A few years previous to his death he was spoken of as a candidate for the Governorship of North Carolina and if his health had held out there is no doubt but that he would have been our Governor at an early date.
The funeral services were conducted on Friday at 3 o'clock, by Dr. J. Henry Smith, at the home of the deceased. A large crowd was in attendance, notwithstanding the inclement weather. The remains were interred in Greene Hill cemetery. The honorary pall-bearers were the officers of the First Presbyterian church and the active pall-bearers were: J. F. Jordan, T. J. Sloan, R. R. King, Jno. A. Barringer, J. F. Yates, W. C. Porter, J. T. Morehead, George H. Gregory.
Photo of frock coat at the Museum of the Confederacy courtesy of C. Levens.
Monument photo from Green Hill Cemetery courtesy of E. Martin.