Confederate Civil War Generals
Confederate Civil War General Officers
|Confederate Civil War Generals
(About) General Lee and his Confederate officers in their first meeting
since Appomattox, taken at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in August 1869, where they met to discuss "the orphaned children
of the Lost Cause". Whether during or after the Civil War, this is the only photo of Lee with his Generals in existence.
Left to right standing: General James Conner, General Martin Witherspoon Gary, General John B. Magruder, General Robert D.
Lilley, General P. G. T. Beauregard, General Alexander Lawton, General Henry A. Wise, General Joseph Lancaster Brent Left
to right seated: Blacque Bey (Turkish Minister to the United States), General Robert E. Lee, Philanthropist George Peabody,
Philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran, James Lyons (Virginia).
field officer in the Civil War army was typically a major, lieutenant colonel, or a colonel. The rank is senior to the company
grades but is junior to the general ranks. Because the field officers led the troops directly into the heat of the battle,
known as the thick of the fight, they sustained high casualty rates.
The infantry regiment was commanded by Colonel William Holland Thomas, Lieutenant Colonel
James R. Love II, and Major (promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in October 1864) William Stringfield.
Its cavalry battalion was under the command of Lieutenant Colonels
James A. McKamy (captured by General George Custer in the Third Battle Winchester Virginia)
and William C. Walker. During the conflict, the unit served with numerous corps, division, and brigade generals.
Colonel William Holland Thomas was the commanding colonel of the Thomas Legion, personally recruited the
Cherokee Battalion and Cherokee Life Guard (Bodyguards), was the only white man to have ever served
as a Cherokee chief. He was also cousin to Zachary Taylor, the twelfth President of the United States, President
Lt. Col. William C. Walker had prior service in the 29th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.
While at home in January 1864, he was awakened and murdered by outlaws.
Lt. Col. William Stringfield initially served as a private in the 1st (Carter's) Tennessee Cavalry
Regiment and then as a captain in Company E, 39th (William M. Bradford's) Tennessee Regiment (aka 31st Tennessee
Infantry). He was elected as a member of the North Carolina Legislature in 1882-1883 and to the North Carolina State
Senate in 1901 and 1905. He married Thomas's sister-in-law Maria Love, and died from natural causes on March 6, 1923.
Lt. Col. James Robert Love II initially served as a Captain in the 16th North Carolina Infantry and fought
bravely in the battles of Seven Pines, Antietam, Seven Days Battles around Richmond, and Second Bull Run. He was wounded in the Battle of Seven Pines. While in Virginia, he saw the
"Elephant" and served under Generals "Stonewall" Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Love was first cousin to Sallie Love, the wife of William Thomas. He was a graduate of Emory and Henry College, studied
law, and was a member of the North Carolina Legislature. After the war, he was a member of the North Carolina Constitutional
Convention in 1868 and served in the State Senate. Waynesville, North Carolina, was founded by his grandfather
Robert Love. Love died on November 10, 1885.
Thomas' Legion served with the following brigade, division, and
Legion served with the following corps, division, and brigade generals:
General Robert Ransom, Jr.: Graduated the United States Military Academy (West Point) in 1850.
General Gabriel Colvin Wharton: Virginia Military Institute graduate-class of 1847.
General Alfred Eugene Jackson: Unlike "Stonewall" Jackson, Alfred Jackson was nicknamed "Old Mudwall" Jackson. Prior to the war he was a farmer.
On November 23, 1864, "Mudwall" was relieved of his command and served as a staff officer. He had Colonel William H. Thomas
arrested and sought to court-martial him.
Kirby Smith: Commander of the Department of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. He graduated West
Point in 1845 and was strongly opposed to allowing Thomas' Legion the ability to operate as an independent command.
Bolivar Buckner: Graduated West Point 1844, Mexican War veteran, resigned commission in 1855, businessman, and commander of Kentucky State
Guard. Post-war: Governor of Kentucky, Vice-Presidential nominee in 1896.
General James Green Martin: Native North Carolinian, graduated West Point in 1840, and Mexican-American War veteran. He was nicknamed "Old One Wing", because he lost his arm in the Mexican-American
War. At the Battle of Churubusco in Mexico, his right arm was shattered by grapeshot and had to be amputated. Martin
was credited for organizing the Old North State's military prior to the first shot of the Civil War.
General John Crawford Vaughn: Native Tennessean
and Mexican-American War veteran.
General John Porter McCown: Graduated the United
States Military Academy in 1840.
General Daniel Smith Donelson: Native Tennessean,
graduated West Point in 1825, and died of natural causes in April 1863. See O.R., I, 23, II, 621, O.R., I, 23, II, 787, and O.R., I, 23, II, 644.
General John Stuart "Cerro Gordo" Williams. Lawyer, Mexican-American War, and politician.
He received his nom de guerre for heroic actions during the Battle of Cerro Gordo.
General Jubal Anderson "Ole Jube" Early: Graduated West Point in 1837 and was a veteran of the Mexican-American War. He was
affectionately nicknamed "Old Jube."
General Henry Heth: Graduated West Point in 1847. His division made first contact at Gettysburg. As an independent command, Thomas' Legion initially reported directly to Heth.
General Robert Emmet Rodes: VMI graduate-class of 1848. He was killed on September 19, 1864, in the Battle of Opequon.
General John C. Breckinridge: He was the fourteenth Vice President of the United States
and a veteran of the Mexican-American War. In early 1865 General Breckinridge was appointed as Secretary of War in the Cabinet
of the Confederate States of America. He held this post until the end of the war. John Breckinridge was also the cousin to
Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of President Lincoln.
General William E. "Grumble" Jones: West Point-class of 1848, and classmate of Union General John Buford. General Jones was killed
on 5 June 1864, during the Battle of Piedmont.
General James Longstreet: West Point-class
of 1842. As a major he fought in the Mexican-American War. General Robert E. Lee referred to Longstreet as his "Old War Horse."
General Braxton Bragg: Native North Carolinian. Graduated West Point 1837, fought in the Seminole and Mexican Wars. He remains the most controversial
Confederate general. He instructed Colonel Thomas to raise two additional Cherokee companies in November of 1863,. This allowed
a total of 4 Cherokee companies which would become known as the Cherokee Battalion (O.R., 1, 49, pt. 2, p. 754).
Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Description: When Generals in Gray was published in 1959,
scholars and critics immediately hailed it as one of the few indispensable books on the American Civil War. Historian Stanley
Horn, for example, wrote, "It is difficult for a reviewer to restrain his enthusiasm in recommending a monumental book of
this high quality and value." Here at last is the paperback edition of Ezra J. Warner’s magnum opus with its concise,
detailed biographical sketches and—in an amazing feat of research—photographs of all 425 Confederate generals.
The only exhaustive guide to the South’s command,
Generals in Gray belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in the Civil War. RATED 5 STARS!
Recommended Reading: Civil War High Commands (1040 pages) (Hardcover). Description: Based on nearly five decades of research, this magisterial
work is a biographical register and analysis of the people who most directly influenced the course of the Civil War, its high
commanders. Numbering 3,396, they include the presidents and their cabinet members, state governors, general officers of the
Union and Confederate armies (regular, provisional, volunteers, and militia), and admirals
and commodores of the two navies. Civil War High Commands will become a cornerstone reference work on these personalities
and the meaning of their commands, and on the Civil War itself. Errors of fact and interpretation concerning the high commanders
are legion in the Civil War literature, in reference works as well as in narrative accounts. Continued below...
The present work brings together for the first time in
one volume the most reliable facts available, drawn from more than 1,000 sources and including the most recent research. The
biographical entries include complete names, birthplaces, important relatives, education, vocations, publications, military
grades, wartime assignments, wounds, captures, exchanges, paroles, honors, and place of death and interment. In addition to its main component, the biographies, the volume also
includes a number of essays, tables, and synopses designed to clarify previously obscure matters such as the definition of
grades and ranks; the difference between commissions in regular, provisional, volunteer, and militia services; the chronology
of military laws and executive decisions before, during, and after the war; and the geographical breakdown of command structures.
The book is illustrated with 84 new diagrams of all the insignias used throughout the war and with 129 portraits of the most
important high commanders.
Recommended Reading: Rebels
and Yankees: Commanders of the Civil War (Hardcover), by William C. Davis (Author), Russ A. Pritchard (Author). Description:
Davis and Pritchard have created a wonderful work that is sure to become a hit with anyone who studies the Civil War. This
book uses words and a generous amount of pictures and photographs to tell the story of the leaders, both talented
and flawed, that held together the two struggling armies in a time of chaos and devastating loss. Continued
Although many of the stories have been told in one form
or another.... Commanders compiles this study in a single book that makes it very easy to compare and contrast the
styles and techniques employed by officers of both armies. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.
Recommended Reading: Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Volume 6 (Battles & Leaders of the Civil War) (632 pages) (University of Illinois Press).
Description: Sifting carefully through reports from
newspapers, magazines, personal memoirs, and letters, Peter Cozzens' Volume 6 brings readers more of the best first-person
accounts of marches, encampments, skirmishes, and full-blown battles, as seen by participants on both sides of the conflict.
Alongside the experiences of lower-ranking officers and enlisted men are accounts from key personalities including General
John Gibbon, General John C. Lee, and seven prominent generals from both sides offering views on "why the Confederacy failed."
This volume includes one hundred and twenty illustrations, including sixteen previously uncollected maps
of battlefields, troop movements, and fortifications.
Recommended Reading: Storm in the Mountains: Thomas' Confederate
Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers (Thomas' Legion: The Sixty-ninth North Carolina Regiment). Description:
Vernon H. Crow, Storm in the Mountains, dedicated an unprecedented 10
years of his life to this first yet detailed history of the Thomas Legion. But it must be said that this priceless addition has
placed into our hands the rich story of an otherwise forgotten era of the Eastern Cherokee Indians and the mountain men of
both East Tennessee and western North Carolina who would fill the ranks of the Thomas Legion during the four year Civil
War. Crow sought
out every available primary and secondary source by traveling to several states and visiting from ancestors of the
Thomas Legion to special collections, libraries, universities, museums, including the Museum of the Cherokee, to
various state archives and a host of other locales for any material on the unit in order to preserve and present
the most accurate and thorough record of the legion. Crow, during his exhaustive fact-finding, was granted access
to rare manuscripts, special collections, privately held diaries, and never before seen nor published photos and
facts of this only legion from North Carolina. Crow remains absent from the text as he gives a readable account
of each unit within the legion's organization, and he includes a full-length roster detailing each of the men who served in
its ranks, including dates of service to some interesting lesser known facts.
Storm in the Mountains, Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and
Mountaineers is presented in a readable manner that is attractive to any student and reader of American history, Civil
War, North Carolina studies, Cherokee Indians, ideologies and sectionalism, and I would be remiss without including the
lay and professional genealogist since the work contains facts from ancestors, including grandchildren, some of which
Crow spent days and overnights with, that further complement the legion's roster with the many names,
dates, commendations, transfers, battle reports, with those wounded, captured, and killed, to lesser yet interesting
facts for some of the men. Crow was motivated with the desire to preserve history
that had long since been overlooked and forgotten and by each passing decade it only sank deeper into the annals of obscurity.
Crow had spent and dedicated a 10 year span of his life to full-time research
of the Thomas Legion, and this fine work discusses much more than the unit's formation, its Cherokee
Indians, fighting history, and staff member narratives, including the legion's commander, Cherokee chief and Confederate
colonel, William Holland Thomas. Numerous maps and photos also allow the
reader to better understand and relate to the subjects. Storm
in the Mountains, Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers is highly commended, absolutely
recommended, and to think that over the span of a decade Crow, for us, would meticulously research the unit and
present the most factual and precise story of the men, the soldiers who formed, served, and died in the famed Thomas
Recommended Reading: North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A
Roster (Volume XVI: Thomas's Legion) (Hardcover) (537 pages), North Carolina Office of Archives and History (2008). Description:
The volume begins with an authoritative 246-page history of Thomas's Legion. The history, including Civil War battles and
campaigns, is followed by a complete roster and service records of the field officers, staff, and troops that served
in the legion. A thorough index completes the volume. Continued below...
of North Carolina Troops: A Roster contains the history and roster of the most unusual North Carolina Confederate Civil
War unit, significant because of the large number of Cherokee Indians who served in its ranks. Thomas's Legion was the creation
of William Holland Thomas, an influential businessman, state legislator, and Cherokee chief. He initially raised a small
battalion of Cherokees in April 1862, and gradually expanded his command with companies of white soldiers raised in western
eastern Tennessee, and Virginia.
By the end of 1862, Thomas's Legion comprised an infantry regiment and a battalion of infantry and cavalry. An artillery battery
was added in April 1863. Furthermore, in General Early's Army of the Valley, the Thomas Legion was well-known for its fighting
prowess. It is also known for its pivotal role in the last Civil War battle east of the Mississippi
River. The Thomas Legion mustered more than 2,500 soldiers and it closely resembled a brigade. With troop roster, muster records, and Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) this volume
is also a must have for anyone interested in genealogy and researching Civil War ancestors. Simply stated, it is an outstanding
source for genealogists.
Recommended Reading: The American Indian in the Civil War, 1862-1865 (Bison Book) (403 pages) (University
of Nebraska Press). Description: Annie
Heloise Abel describes the divided loyalties of Native Americans and the American Civil War and makes it vividly clear that
it brought only chaos and devastation to the Indian Territory. For example, she describes
in detail the 1862 Battle of Pea Ridge, a bloody disaster for the Confederates but a glorious moment for Colonel (later promoted
to "General") Stand Watie and his Cherokee Mounted Rifles. The Indians were soon swept by the war into a vortex
of confusion and horror.