Lawrence O’Bryan Branch served as Brigadier General under A. P. Hill’s division at the battle of Antietam where he was one of six generals to die. He was the President of the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad Co., served in the US House of Representatives from 1855-1861, and was appointed the State Quartermaster General. As a prominent North Carolinian he had several obituaries in the major newspapers. Those written only days after the battle highlight the difficulty of obtaining accurate news from the battlefields, reporting contradictory information concerning Branch’s death or survival. Ultimately, both of these newspapers acknowledged the consequences of acting on hasty reports from unofficial sources. Branch’s daughter Sue detailed the emotional turmoil endured during this time of uncertainty in a letter sent to her Aunt, R. Williams. Mrs. R. Williams also received a telegraph definitively stating the death of her brother from his father in law.
Obituary for Gen. Branch from the Raleigh Register 24 Sept. 1862
Obituary for Gen. Branch from the North Carolina Standard 24 Sept. 1862
Obituary for Gen. Branch from the North Carolina Standard 27 Sept. 1862