Biography of Alexander B. Guigon
Prominent Persons in Virginia, Biographies





Guigon, Alexander Barclay, born in Richmond, Virginia, February 13, 1831, son of Auguste Guigon and Ellen Smithey, his wife; his father was a Frenchman who came to Richmond, where he was a teacher. He was privately educated, and as a youth became a page in congress, where he formed the acquaintance of many of the distinguished lawyers of the country, which aided in determining his selection of a profession. After attending private schools in Richmond, he studied law and upon attaining his majority entered upon the practice of his profession shortly before the war. He was one of the original company of Richmond Howitzers, formed by the late George W. Randolph. When war broke out in April, 1861, the Howitzer company had so many members it became necessary to organize a battalion of three companies, which were mustered into the service of the Confederacy, April 21, 1861. Guigon, then a private, was made orderly sergeant of the Second company, commanded by J. Thompson Brown. Guigon was with a section of this company, which was sent to Gloucester Point and fired on the gunboat Yankee, on May 20, 1861, the first gun of the war fired in Virginia. He served in the Peninsula campaign under Gen. John Bankhead Magruder; was at the battle of Bethel, and from the battle of Bethel (June 10, 1861), to the advance of McClellan up the Peninsula (April, 1862), Guigon was, with a short interval of sickness, continuously with his company. On April 15, 1862, Guigon was commissioned captain in the Confederate army, and authorized to raise a company of artillery. The project was unsuccessful and he joined the First company of Richmond Howitzers as a private, but later was appointed ordnance sergeant of a battery commanded by his old partner, Capt. )afterwards Colonel) Marmaduke Johnson, and served in that capacity with the Third Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia up to its surrender at Appomattox. After the surrender of Gen. Lee's army at Appomattox, Capt. Guigon resumed the practice of the law in Richmond. In 1870 he was elected judge of the hustings court, being the first elected to hold that office after the war. After serving as judge for eight years, he died, February 22, 1878, and the event was the occasion of the largest meeting of menibers of the bench and bar of the city of Richmond and its vicinity ever assembled, and the resolutions passed by them express far more than the ordinary state formalities. Judge Guigon founded, in 1856, "The Quarterly Law Journal," the first law journal published in the south, which he conducted until shortly before the beginning of the civil war. He was a master Mason and member of Joppa Lodge, No. 40, in Richmond. Before the war he was a Whig, but when the war terminated he allied himself with the Democratic party. He was a regular attendant of the Monumental Episcopal Church in Richmond. On August 20, 1857, he married Sarah Bates Allen, daughter of James Allen of the firm of Davenport & Allen, Richmond, and tormerly ot New Bedford, Massachusetts.


FROM:
Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography
Volume III
By: Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL. D.
Lewis Historical Publishing Company
New York 1915



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