was born at Essex Co., Virginia, USA
, on November 21, 1817.2
He was the son of William Henry Garnett Sr.
and Anna Maria Brooke
. Richard was listed on the roll as a student at West Point, Orange Co., New York, USA
, in 1841. He was graduated from the U.S. military academy, West Point, in 1841, was appointed 2d lieutenant, 6th U.S. infantry, and served in the Florida war, 1841-42. He served in garrison and on frontier duty in 1842-45, and was aide-de-camp to his uncle, Gen. George Mercer Brooke, at New Orleans, La., and San Antonio, Texas, 1845-51. He was promoted 1st lieutenant. Feb. 16, 1847; was on frontier duty at Fort Laramie, Dak., 1852-54; on recruiting service, 1854-55; and was promoted captain, May 9, 1855, being still attached to the 6th U.S. infantry. He was engaged in quelling Kansas disturbances, 1856-57; in escorting the Kansas southern boundary commission, 1857; at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., 1857-58; in the Utah expedition in 1858, and in California, 1858-61. He resigned his commission, May 17, 1861, and joined the Confederate army in which he served as colonel in western Virginia and was soon promoted to the rank of brigadier-general. He commanded the "Stonewall" brigade in the winter of 1862, and Pickett's old brigade in the army of northern Virginia, C.S.A., from September, 1862. He took part in the battles of the Shenandoah, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, and Gettysburg, where he led in the charge of Pickett's division and met his death July 3, 1863.
---Because Garnett had been injured recently by a hard kick from his horse, and was unable to walk, he led his brigade on horseback, in spite of Pickett's order that all men in the assault should be on foot.
While the Confederate forces were storming The Angle, as the 72d Pennsylvania, rose, took aim and fired, Garnett was struck in the head by a projectile--some say a bullet, and some say cannister--and died
instantly. He was buried on the field, his remains were possibly moved to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA but it is unconfirmed.
---NOTE* - Brian Pohanka has written the following about the photo thought to be of Richard Brooke Garnett: "...The full-bearded officer is traditionally assumed to be Richard Brooke Garnett, the man who died at Gettysburg, and the side-whiskered gent to be his cousin, Robert Selden Garnett -- who was the first General killed in the Civil War (at Corrick's Ford, in what is now West Virginia). I personally have come to believe that both of these photos are of Robert Selden Garnett -- in one he has side-whiskers, in the other a full beard. There is a painting of Zachary Taylor & staff in the Mexican War that includes Robert Garnett -- and he indeed has the side-whiskers and looks like the "traditional" portrait of that officer. If you examine the two photos -- of the cousins -- side by side, you will note a similarity of features -- eyes, ears, hairline, etc -- that I think makes for the case that both these images are of Robert, not Richard Garnett. So there may well be no confirmed photo of Richard B. Garnett, who died in the assault on Cemetery Ridge."
He married (?) Looking Woman
at Fort Laramie Region, USA
, circa 1855. Richard died on July 3, 1863 at Battle of Gettysburg, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
, at age 45.2