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 John Clifford Pemberton

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John Clifford Pemberton

  • Birth 10 Aug 1814 Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 13 Jul 1881 Penllyn, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Plot Section 9, Lot 53
  • Memorial ID 4860

Civil War Confederate Lieutenant General. Born and raised in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, he fought whole-heartedly for the Southern Cause. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1837, placing 27th out of 50 (his classmates included future Union Generals John Sedgwick and Joseph Hooker, and future CSA Generals Jubal Early and Braxton Bragg). Posted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd United States Artillery, he fought in the Seminole Wars in Florida and in the Mexican War, where his service in Mexico saw him received brevets of Captain and Major, US Regular Army. Promoted to Captain in 1850, he was part of the 1858 operations in Utah against the Mormons led by Albert Sidney Johnston. When the Civil War began, he opted to join the South, dispite his Northern birth (he had married a Southern woman in 1848). First commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army in April 1861, he was subsequently promoted to Brigadier General, PACS in June of that year. After early service as commander of the Military Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, he was promoted to Major General in January 1862, and to Lieutenant General in October 1862. Assigned to the defenses of Vicksburg, it soon became the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi. His command held out against a Union Siege directed by Major General Ulysses S. Grant, being hampered by conflicting orders from superiors, as well as a lack of supports from other Confederate commanders in the area. On July 4, 1863 General Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg, a move that gave the Union complete control of the Mississippi River and hastened the end of the Confederacy. He was vilified for his surrender, and was accused of disloyalty due to his Northern roots. After his exchange he resigned his Lieutenant General commission, and was appointed as a Lieutenant Colonel of Artillery on the urging of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. He served faithfully in this reduced capacity until the end of the war. He lived for a time in Virginia, but eventually returned to the state of his birth, where he died and was buried. Questions of his loyalty to his chosen cause still linger to this day; however, the record of his war service proves he never wavered in his devotion to his adopted South.

Bio by: Russ





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 21 Mar 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4860
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Clifford Pemberton (10 Aug 1814–13 Jul 1881), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4860, citing Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .