What Was General James Archer's Cause Of Death?

White Flint Bill

Oct 9, 2017
Southern Virginia
General Archer died in October 1864 in Petersburg. He was captured at Gettysburg and was a POW for about a year. I've seen reports that he died from the debilitating effects of his imprisonment. But the record is clear that he was frail and frequently ill before being captured, so at worst it seems the prison conditions could only have worsened whatever was already ailing him. Anyone seen any reference to what might have been his actual cause of death?


Stone in the wall

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Month
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Sep 19, 2017
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
I have a special fondness for the General, when I was 2 dad brought a house on Archer Court. Other streets/courts were named Anderson, Benning, Chambliss and so on.
I've never seen a actual cause of his death. He just always seemed in poor health and he was really sick during most of the Maryland Invasion and at other times. He was a get in done guy, frail but very active. It may just be he pushed himself too hard after his release.


Jun 27, 2017
Southeast Missouri
When Archer was captured at Gettysburg along with his brother Lt. Col. Robert H. Archer, who remained in prisoner of war camps for the rest of the war. Robert was his brother's ADC. His was in decline due to effects of inclement weather in Ohio. Archer's health finally collapsed after the Battle of Peeble's Farm. He died on October 24, 1864 at the age of 46 in Richmond. He had suffered through illnesses during the first year of the war. Archer was normally sick before every battle he entered but he never stayed in his sickbed when battle was imminent. The cause of his death is often listed as the effects of his imprisonment. Some other sources say he died from his wound at Gettysburg and imprisonment. A fellow officer stated that Archer contracted the disease at Johnson's Island that ended his life a short while after his exchange.