Goode Bryan, a native of Hancock County, Georgia, was one of Lee's less notable, but still capable brigadiers. Bryan graduated from West Point in 1834, and served as a officer, but resigned after ten months. He returned to Georgia to become a planter, but moved to Alabama to study law. Bryan had a brief career as a politician, serving in the Alabama general assembly in 1843. In the Mexican-American War, Bryan joined the 1st Alabama Volunteer Infantry, serving as its major and seeing action in several battles. After the war, Bryan resumed his law practice in Alabama, but eventually returned to Georgia and farming. Bryan married Anna Twiggs, who came from a prominent Virginia planter family, having one daughter, Sarah.
Bryan, after serving as a delegate to the Georgia secession convention, he enlisted in the 16th Georgia Volunteer Infantry and was elected a captain and soon lieutenant colonel. In February 1862, Bryan became the regiment's colonel, leading the regiment in the Peninsula Campaign, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. At Gettysburg, Bryan and the 16th were among the troops poised for an attack against the Union troops on Little Round Top, until Longstreet recalled them. Bryan remained bitter about this, and held until his death that his troops could have won the battle.
After being promoted to brigadier general in August 1863 to replace the deceased Paul J. Semmes, Bryan led the brigade in the Mine Run campaign. The brigade was then part of Longstreet's move to Georgia, fighting at Chickamauga and in the Knoxville Campaign. Returning to Virginia in spring 1864 in time for the Overland Campaign, Bryan fought at Cold Harbor and the early fighting around Petersburg. He resigned in September 1864 due to chronic ill health, and returned to Georgia.
Bryan helped organize the Confederate Survivors' Association, chairing its first meeting. Bryan died in Augusta in 1885, and is buried with six other Confederate generals in Magnolia Cemetery.