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Beauregard, Pierre Gustave Toutant (28 May 1818–20 February 1893), soldier, was born at “Contreras,” his family’s plantation in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, the son of Jacques Toutant-Beauregard, a planter, and Helene Judith de Reggio. At age eight he was sent to a private school in New Orleans for three years, and for four years after that he attended the French School, a private institution in New York City. Beauregard entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1834 and graduated second in the class of 1838. Commissioned a second lieutenant of engineers, he worked on various fortifications in Florida and in his native state during the years prior to the Mexican War. In 1841 Beauregard married Marie Laure Villere; they had two sons. Laure died in March 1850, giving birth to a daughter....

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P. G. T. Beauregard. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-34418).

Article

Cooper, Samuel (12 June 1798–03 December 1876), army officer, was born at Hackensack, in the town of Fishkill, New York, the son of Samuel Cooper, a merchant and former major in the Continental army, and Mary Horton. Cooper entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1813 and graduated in 1815. Commissioned a second lieutenant in the Regiment of Light Artillery, he served for the next three years at garrisons on the New England coast. From 1818 to 1825 he was on detached service in the office of the adjutant and inspector general (after 1821 adjutant general) in Washington, D.C., where he received his first experience in the staff duty that would occupy nearly all of his career. During a reduction of the army in 1821, he was assigned to the Fourth Artillery Regiment. Cooper performed garrison duty at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1825–1826 and spent the next two years at the Artillery School of Practice at Fortress Monroe, Virginia. In 1827 he married Sarah Maria Mason, a member of a very influential Virginia family. They had three children....

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Ives, Joseph Christmas (25 December 1828–12 November 1868), soldier, engineer, and explorer, was born in New York City, the son of Ansel Wilmot Ives and Laura (maiden name unknown), occupations unknown. Little is known of his early years. Apparently, he was raised in a boardinghouse in New Haven, Connecticut. He attended Yale College and graduated fifth in his class at West Point in 1852. Commissioned as a brevet second lieutenant of ordnance, Ives served at the Watervliet, New York, arsenal (1852–1853) and was transferred to the topographical engineers in 1853. He was an assistant topographical engineer on the Pacific Railroad Survey (1853–1854) and in the Pacific Railroad Office in Washington, D.C. (1854–1857). In 1855 he married Cora Semmes, who came from a prominent southern family; they eventually had three children, all sons, two of whom would serve in the U.S. military. In 1857 Ives was promoted to first lieutenant and was named to lead an expedition up the Colorado River in order to develop potential routes of supply in the event of a war between the national government and the Mormon settlements in Deseret (Utah)....

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Johnston, Albert Sidney (02 February 1803–06 April 1862), Confederate general, was born in Washington, Kentucky, the son of John Johnston, a physician, and Abigail Harris. Raised by a stepmother following the death of his mother when he was three, Johnston aspired to follow in his father’s footsteps. He studied medicine at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, where he became a close friend of ...

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Residence of General Robert E. Lee. 707 East Frankline Street in Richmond, Virginia, at the close of the Civil War. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8171-3288 DLC).

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Robert E. Lee Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-0001).

Article

Russell F. Weigley

Lee, Robert E. (19 January 1807–12 October 1870), soldier, was born Robert Edward Lee on the Stratford estate in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the son of Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, a soldier and political leader, and Ann Hill Carter. The promise of affluence implied by his birth at his father’s ancestral estate was not fulfilled in Lee’s childhood. Neither family, nor military distinction in the Revolution, nor political success as governor of Virginia (1792–1795) could save Major General Henry Lee from the penalties of financial recklessness, aggravated by broken health. As a result, Robert’s childhood was shadowed by the frequent absence of his father, seeking to escape his creditors and to promote his physical rehabilitation, while his mother supported herself and her five children on the income from her Carter legacy, which was adequate but by no means lavish. The family moved to Alexandria, Virginia, in 1810. For an unknown period, Robert attended a school at Eastern View in Fauquier County that was run by the Carters for their children. By 1820 he was a student at Alexandria Academy, where he finished his secondary school education no later than 1823....

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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....

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David Emanuel Twiggs. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92325).