General Matthew Duncan Ector

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General Matthew Duncan Ector

Biography:
Brigadier-General Matthew Duncan Ector

Brigadier-General Matthew Duncan Ector is one of the famous
names of the army of Tennessee. In 1862, he was colonel of the
Fourteenth Texas cavalry; in August of the same year, he was
made a brigadier-general. He had served in the cavalry in
North Mississippi, but during the Kentucky campaign led his
regiment, the Fourteenth Texas, dismounted.

He was present at the battle at Richmond, Ky., and Col. T. H.
McCray, who in that battle commanded the brigade, said in his
report that "Col. M. D. Ector particularly distinguished
himself, being in the front of battle and cheering on his
men."

He was promoted to brigadier-general, his commission dating
back to August 23, 1862. At the battle of Murfreesboro, he
commanded a brigade in McCown's division. General Hardee,
after describing the brilliant charge by which the whole
Federal right wing was driven back several miles, says that
"Ector and Harper, though enfiladed by a battery, forced their
way through a cedar brake, in which the enemy was posted."

At the battle of Chickamauga General Ector shared with other
commanders in the following compliment bestowed by the heroic
Gen. Wm. H. T. Walker:
"I have only to say that the brigadier-generals fought with a
gallantry that entitle them to division commands, and the
colonels commanding brigades, with an obstinacy and courage
that entitle them to the rank of brigadier-generals. "

It is not necessary to go into all the details of the battles
in which General Ector acted a gallant part. A few days after
the battle of Chickamauga, he was sent with his brigade to
Mississippi, where he remained until the following spring. He
was back again in time for the Atlanta campaign, and under
both Johnston and Hood, he and his command maintained the fine
reputation which they had won on other fields.

During the battles around Atlanta, he lost a leg. To the end
of his military career, General Ector was faithful and valiant
in the performance of every duty. When the long struggle
ended, he and his brigade had earned an honorable name for
duty well performed on every field, whether in Tennessee or
Georgia. He participated in the defense of Mobile in the last
days of the war.

After peace had been restored he returned to his home in
Texas.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. XV, p. 227

Recommended Reading: Ector's Texas Brigade and the Army of Tennessee 1862-1865 (Hardcover). Description: Ector's Texas Brigade served most of the Civil War with the Army of Tennessee. With that battle-riddled command, they wrote an illustrious history upon the pages of American history. "A must read for the student of Texas history, the individual interested in the contributions of Texas in the Civil War, and for that buff that is remotely interested in the Army of Tennessee...[N]o serious study of Texas and the Civil War is possible without this volume."

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Recommended Reading: 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. Continued below.

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. Continued below...

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. 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. It is the most comprehensive volume to date...name any Union or Confederate general--and it can be found in here. [T]he photos alone are worth the purchase. RATED FIVE STARS by americancivilwarhistory.org
 
Recommended Viewing: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns. Review: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns is the most successful public-television miniseries in American history. The 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. Continued below.
The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. "Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling." "[S]hould be a requirement for every student."
 
Recommended Reading: Who Was Who in the Civil War (600 pages: Hardcover), by Stewart Sifakis. Description: It provides biographical sketches of all the major participants of the Civil War: Generals, politicians and even famous - or infamous - characters such as Jesse James and Bloody Bill Anderson. RATED A SOLID 5 STARS.
 
Recommended Reading: The History Buff's Guide to the Civil War (400 pages). Description: Exploring the Civil War can be fascinating, but with so many battles, leaders, issues, and more than 50,000 books on these subjects, the task can also be overwhelming. Was Gettysburg the most important battle? Were Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis so different from each other? How accurate is re-enacting? Who were the worst commanding generals? Thomas R. Flagel uses annotated lists organized under more than thirty headings to see through the powder smoke and straighten Sherman’s neckties, ranking and clarifying the best, the worst, the largest, and the most lethal aspects of the conflict. Continued below.
Major sections are fashioned around the following topics:
• Antebellum: Investigates the critical years before the war, in particular the growing crises, extremists, and slavery.
• Politics: Contrasts the respective presidents and constitutions of the Union and Confederacy, the most prominent politicians, and the most volatile issues of the times.
• Military Life: Offers insights into the world of the common soldiers, how they fought, what they ate, how they were organized, what they saw, how they lived, and how they died.
• The Home Front: Looks at the fastest growing field in Civil War research, including immigration, societal changes, hardships and shortages, dissent, and violence far from the firing lines.
• In Retrospect: Ranks the heroes and heroines, greatest victories and failures, firsts and worsts.
• Pursuing the War: Summarizes Civil War study today, including films, battlefield sites, books, genealogy, re-enactments, restoration, preservation, and other ventures.

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