Civil War Confederate Major General. He graduated 44th in the West Point class of 1835. Brevetted a 2nd Lieutenant, he resigned his commission on December 5, 1835, studied law privately in Alabama, fought as a volunteer officer in the Creek Indian War of 1836, then passed the state bar. An attorney and cotton dealer at the start of the Mexican War, he secured a commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the 13th United States Infantry on March 3, 1847, and was promoted Colonel of the 9th United States Infantry on September 13, 1847. He resigned his commission on May 23, 1848, returned to the cotton business, won a term as a state legislator, and was elected mayor of Mobile, Alabama, in 1858, serving until mustering in as Colonel of the 3rd Alabama in 1861. Respected in his state, he won commission as Brigadier General on July 10, 1861, assignment to command all state forces on September 12, 1861, and was charged with the defense of the state's gulf coast on January 27, 1862. He maintained headquarters at Mobile, assumed command of the 2nd Division/II Corps for the Battle of Shiloh, and so distinguished himself there that he won promotion to Major General. He next served with General Braxton Bragg in the autumn 1862 Kentucky Campaign and, leading the 2nd Division of Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk's corps, was heavily engaged in the Battle of Stone's River. Losing 26% of his command in the first day of fighting there, when the Federal force resisted further attacks, he wrote a memorandum with Major General Benjamin F. Cheatham requesting Bragg to call retreat. Endorsed by Polk, the memorandum fired controversy within the army. He maintained that he meant no personal disrespect to Bragg, and the issue was dropped. While he was serving in Tullahoma operations, his health began to fail. On August 13, 1863, Major General Thomas C. Hindman took charge of his division. He went on recuperative leave, then assumed command of the District of North Alabama on February 6, 1864. On July 27, 1864, Secretary of War James A. Seddon appointed him commander of Alabama state reserve forces, charged with organizing for state defense boys and men under and over draft age. He maintained this office until the end of the war. He returned to the cotton business after the war, won election as mayor of Mobile in 1867 and as Mobile treasurer in 1878, and for a time edited the Mobile Tribune. In the 1880s he worked in Washington D.C., as a claims agent. He later returned to Mobile, dying there.
Bio by: Ugaalltheway
Rebecca Eloisa Forney Withers