Few generals of the Confederate States Army had such a glittering career as John Brown Gordon, although without any formal military training he rose from captain of a company of Georgia mountineers to the rank of Major-General. He was described by the Robert E. Lee as one of his finest commanders and that his actions were "characterized by splendid audacity". He was distinguished in many the early battles of the Army of North Viginia; First Bull Run, Malvern Hill; holding the vital "Bloody Lane" at Antietam he was shot five times as he encouraged his men. After a period of recuperation he plunged back into the fray and won further laurels at battles at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House and the final surrender at Appomattox. His memoirs are justly famous and are an acclaimed classic.