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Gilbert Moxley Sorrel
February 23, 1838(1838-02-23) – August 10, 1901 (aged 63)
Moxley Sorrel.jpg
G. Moxley Sorrel
Place of birth Savannah, Georgia
Place of death Roanoke, Virginia
Place of burial Laurel Grove Cemetery
Savannah, Georgia
Allegiance United States of America
Confederate States of America
Years of service 1861 - 1865 (CSA)
Rank Brigadier General
Commands held Sorrel's Brigade, Mahone's Division
Chief of Staff, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia
Battles/wars American Civil War
*Siege of Petersburg
*Battle of Hatcher's Run
Other work Historian

Gilbert Moxley Sorrel (pronounced /sɒˈrɛl/) (February 23, 1838 – August 10, 1901) was a Confederate States Army officer and historian of the Confederacy.

Sorrel was the son of one of the wealthiest men in Savannah, Georgia, Francis Sorrel. In 1861, Moxley left his job as a Savannah bank clerk, taking part in the Confederate capture of Fort Pulaski as a private in the Georgia Hussars.

With letters of introduction from Colonel Jordan, from Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard's staff, and a friend of his father, he reported to Brig. Gen. James Longstreet at Manassas, Virginia, on July 21, 1861, serving as a volunteer aide-de-camp.

On September 11, 1861, Sorrel received his commission as captain, and was assigned as General Longstreet's chief of staff. He was promoted to major on June 24, 1862, and lieutenant colonel on June 18, 1863. He served under Longstreet until October 1864 when he was appointed brigadier general. Sorrel commanded Sorrel's Brigade of Maj. Gen. William Mahone's division at Petersburg and Hatcher's Run, being wounded in both battles.

After the Civil War, he returned to Savannah and was an executive for the Ocean Steamship Company, and served on the board of the Georgia Historical Society. When Robert E. Lee visited Savannah months before his death in 1870, Sorrel led the Savannah delegation, greeting General Lee at the train station, and escorting him around the city. Sorrel wrote Recollections of a Confederate Staff Officer, which was published in 1905 after his death. Sorrel's book is considered one of the best accounts of the personalities of the major players in the Confederacy.

Moxley Sorrel died in Roanoke, Virginia, and is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery, Savannah. The Sorrel Weed House, where he grew up, is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. Designed in 1836 by Charles Clusky, it was one of the first two houses in Georgia to be designated a state landmark. The house is open to the public for tours in Savannah.

In popular media

Sorrel was played by Kieran Mulroney in the film Gettysburg.


  • Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.

External links



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