James Alexander Walker was born August 27, 1832 in Augusta County. He attended school at Virginia Military Institute, where he was a student of Stonewall Jackson. He was dismissed in his senior year on charges brought by Jackson. He immediately challenged Jackson to a duel, which fortunately never came about.
Walker later graduated from the University of Virginia, and settled in Newbern in Pulaski County where he started a law practice.
Following John Brown's Harper's Ferry raid, in 1859, Walker formed the Pulaski Guards. After the outbreak of the war, they were designated Company C of the 4th Virginia Infantry, First Virginia Brigade serving under none other than Stonewall Jackson.
It is said that other than Longstreet, no general in the Confederacy took part in more battles than Walker.
Walker was given command of the Stonewall Brigade on May 19, 1863. Immensely popular with his men, he was given the name "Stonewall Jim". He would lead the Brigade for a year, until his left arm was shattered at Spotsylvania. At the end of the war, he was in the divisional command.
Following the war, his left arm all but useless, he returned to Pulaski, resumed his law practice and was elected to the House of Delegates and to the office of Lieutenant Governor.
In 1879, General Walker moved to Wytheville. In 1889, he purchased the house he named "Walker Hall". It is still standing on the corner of 1st and Franklin streets. As a Republican, he was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he sereved from 1895 to 1899.
On October 20, 1901, he passed away in Wytheville and is buried in the East End Cemetery.
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