Born on January 17th, 1846 in Nansemond County, Virginia to his parents Rev. Edward Howell and his wife Americus Howell.
Julius grew up on a plantation the youngest of 16 children. He attended school at home and then later was a student at Reynoldson Institute in Gates County, North Carolina. The institute closed with the declaration of war in 1861. At the age of sixteen Howell entered Confederate service and would later become a member of the 24th Virginia Cavalry.
On occasions, he was on detached duty, serving general officers as a trusted courier. In the final days of the war he was captured and imprisoned until after the war’s end. In the years after the war Howell became a well-regarded educator. He remained invested in the preservation of the memories of the Confederate soldier, and his title of “General” was obtained from his time as the Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans.
Howell’s long and useful life spanned more than a century, and when he died at the age of 102, he was purported to have been the final survivor of General James Longstreet’s Corps. He is buried at Glenwood Cemetery in Sullivan County Tennessee, USA.
Julius Howell enlisted at 16 to fight for the Confederacy in 1862. In this 1947 recording in DC, Howell at age 101, recalls his Civil War exploits as a cavalryman at Petersburg and Richmond and his memory of the assassination of President Lincoln from a Union POW camp.
The title of general is in ironic quotes because his was an honorary moniker bestowed on him years later by a Confederacy society.