Civil War Confederate Major General. He was born near Port Gibson, Mississippi. He graduated 52nd in the West Point class of 1842. During the Mexican War, he earned two brevets, and was wounded at Mexico City. He transferred to the cavalry in 1855, was appointed Captain and was stationed in Texas. Although he was wounded in an Indian battle in 1858, he became a national hero for his exploits against the Comanches. In January 1861, he resigned his commission as Major in the 2nd Cavalry for a colonelcy in the Confederate army. He was directed to go to Texas, where he confiscated United States property and received the surrender of Federal army detachments. He is given much credit to these surrenders being bloodless. Rising rapidly to the ranks of Brigadier and Major Generals, he was ordered to Virginia, where in the vicinity of Manassas he led a division. Early in 1862 he returned to the West and was given command of the Trans-Mississippi Department. Like many other Confederate generals, he never lived up to the Confederacy early expectations. Zealous for personal glory, he was frequently the center of controversy, both for his military tactics and the conduct of his personal life. He launched an attack at Pea Ridge, but was repulsed after two days of fighting. He was ordered east of the Mississippi, but arrived too late to see any action in the Battle of Shiloh. He did participate in the unsuccessful defense of Corinth, Mississippi. For this loss he faced a court of inquiry, which exonerated him of any misconduct, including the charge of drunkenness on the battlefield. Regardless, he did not command an army again. In the summer of 1862 he successfully defended Vicksburg, Mississippi, but failed along with John C. Breckinridge to take Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Another failure happened when he attempted to retake Corinth in October 1862. During this same time period unfortunately, many Southerners, both civilian and in the military, were beginning to believe that he was not the soldier many thought him to be. Proving their faith in him, the Confederate War Department placed him in charge of cavalry under John C. Pemberton. He rewarded the Confederate government with a highly successful raid on Holly Springs, Mississippi, which caused Grant to end his campaign in central Mississippi. Again, at Thompson's Station, he proved his mastery of cavalry tactics. By spring 1863 he was being ranked with Forrest, Wheeler, and Morgan as one of the South's most outstanding cavalry commanders. Having moved his troops into Tennessee, he set up camp near Spring Hill. He was killed in his camp by Doctor George B. Peters for having shown his affections to Peters' wife in Spring Hill.
Bio by: Ugaalltheway