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Bouligny, Dominique (23 August 1773–05 March 1833), soldier, planter, and U.S. senator, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Francisco Bouligny, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana, a colonel in the Fixed Louisiana Regiment, and the acting governor of Louisiana, and Marie Louise le Sénéchal d’Auberville. He spent his childhood in the comfort that his father’s influence and wealth provided. Surrounded by a large extended family and a full complement of house servants, Bouligny developed a strong attachment to his family, an even stronger admiration for the military that commanded his father’s devotion, and pride in being a citizen of Spain. Louisiana offered few opportunities for the sons of army officers outside of military service. Sons of officers entered the army at an early age, and as a senior officer in the Fixed Louisiana Regiment, Bouligny’s father arranged an appointment for his twelve-year-old son as a cadet in the regimental school in March 1786. His father’s influence assured Bouligny’s rapid promotion to the first officer rank of sublieutenant at the age of fourteen....

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Cooper, Joseph Alexander (25 November 1823–20 May 1910), farmer and army officer, was born near Cumberland Falls, Whitley County, Kentucky, the son of John Cooper, a farmer. His mother’s name is unknown. While Cooper was still a child, his family moved to a farm on Cove Creek in Campbell County, Tennessee. In 1846 he married Mary J. Hutson; the number of their children, if any, is unknown. The following year he joined the Fourth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment to fight in the Mexican War. After returning from the war, he took up farming near Jacksboro, Tennessee....

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Hampton, Wade (1754?–04 February 1835), planter, military commander, and congressman, was born (according to different sources) in either Halifax County, Virginia, or Rowan County, North Carolina, the son of Anthony Hampton, a farmer, land jobber, and trader, and Elizabeth Preston. He is often known as Wade Hampton I to distinguish him from two noted descendants of the same name. Hampton’s history prior to the American Revolution is largely mysterious. He must, however, have received some sort of formal education. Early in 1774 the Hampton family followed the example set by other backcountry residents and moved to South Carolina. Wade Hampton joined several of his brothers in a mercantile enterprise before the American War of Independence intervened....

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Hazen, Moses (01 June 1733–05 February 1803), army officer, landowner, and merchant, was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, the son of Moses Hazen, a merchant, and Abigail White. Hazen was apprenticed to a tanner and later operated independently. The outbreak of the French and Indian War lured him away, and he remained in the military during two great wars. In 1755 he enlisted in a British colonial unit and served under Colonel ...

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McIntosh, Lachlan (05 March 1727–20 February 1806), planter and Continental army officer, was born in Badenoch, Inverness-shire, Scotland, the son of clan chieftain John McIntosh Mohr and Margaret (or Marjorie) Fraser. McIntosh arrived in Georgia in January 1736 as part of a shipload of Highland Scots sent to guard the colony’s southern frontier. Led by McIntosh’s father, the expedition founded the Altamaha River town of Darien, which was a military center during the War of Jenkins’s Ear. In 1748 McIntosh went to Charleston, South Carolina, where he met ...

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McNeill, John Hanson (12 June 1815–10 November 1864), soldier and farmer, was born in Hardy County, Virginia (now W.Va.), the son of Strother McNeill and Amy Pugh, farmers. McNeill’s childhood and youth were made difficult by the death of his father when McNeill was only four years old. The dire circumstances of his family forced him to abandon school after only a few years and assist his mother in farming while he was still a child. In 1837 he married Jemima Harness Cunningham; they had four sons and one daughter....

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Marsena R. Patrick. With his staff. Photograph by Timothy H. O'Sullivan. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8171-7075).

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Patrick, Marsena Rudolph (11 March 1811–27 July 1888), soldier and agriculturalist, was born in Houndsfield, near Watertown, New York, the son of John Patrick and Miriam White, moderately wealthy farmers. Patrick’s mother was a deeply devout Christian who imposed her beliefs too strictly for his liking, so at age ten he ran away from home. A resourceful lad, he worked as a canal boat driver on the Erie Canal, taught school, and for a brief period studied medicine. He managed to make some influential friends, including General ...

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Pickens, Andrew (19 September 1739–11 August 1817), militia leader and planter, was born in Paxton Township, Pennsylvania, the son of Andrew Pickens, Sr., and Anne Davis, farmers. Moving into Virginia in the early 1740s and into the Waxhaw area of South Carolina in the early 1750s, Pickens later wrote of his early years that he “had not an opportunity of receiving even a good english education.” Despite his many moves, Andrew Sr., the father, became a fairly well-to-do landowner, a magistrate, and a militia captain, and his son, our Andrew Pickens, eventually developed an eloquent, if not elegant, command of the language....

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Pillow, Gideon Johnson (08 June 1806–08 October 1878), soldier, lawyer, and planter, was born in a log cabin in Williamson (now Maury) County, Tennessee, the son of Gideon Pillow, a pioneer planter, and Annie Payne. Gideon graduated from the University of Nashville in 1827 and, after reading law for three years in the offices of two judges, was admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1830. He hung out his shingle in Columbia, and, possessed of a “quick mind and a powerful speaking voice,” his civil and criminal practice flourished. In 1831 Pillow married Mary Elizabeth Martin. The union was blessed with ten children. The Martins were an affluent Middle Tennessee family, and Mary was a good manager, capable of overseeing family and business interests during her husband’s long absences from home....