- In 1861, Echols led the 27th Virginia Infantry into battle at First Manassas, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. In the following year, he was severely wounded at the Battle of Kernstown. In April, he was commissioned as a brigadier general. He participated in the battle of New Market, and other engagements. He served in western Virginia until the end of the war, with the exception of a short-term service at the Battle of Cold Harbor.
- Brigadier General