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Capers, Ellison (14 October 1837–22 April 1908), Confederate soldier and Episcopal clergyman, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of William Capers, a Methodist bishop, and Susan McGill. After attending the private schools of his native city, he was graduated in 1857 from the South Carolina Military Academy. He taught mathematics at his alma mater and for a year was on the staff of a college in Winnsboro, South Carolina. Early in 1859 he married Charlotte Palmer; they had nine children....

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Albert Pike. Photoprint, c. 1886. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100590).

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Pike, Albert (29 December 1809–02 April 1891), lawyer, soldier, and Masonic scholar, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Pike, a cobbler, and Sarah Andrews. The boy was torn between his father, whose irreverence and drinking scandalized neighbors, and his mother, who read the Bible to her only son daily and planned on his entering the ministry. In 1813, seeking to supplement his income by farming, Benjamin Pike moved the family to Newburyport, Massachusetts. In 1825 Albert was sent to live with his uncle, a teacher at Framingham Academy, who soon learned that Pike had a prodigious memory that enabled him to digest large volumes and recall their contents at will; the boy learned Hebrew, Latin, and Greek almost effortlessly. Eight months after his arrival in Framingham, Pike passed the entrance examination for Harvard College. He could not afford the tuition, however, so, instead of enrolling at Harvard, he taught common school at Gloucester. The following year Harvard agreed to admit him as a junior, but school officials insisted that he pay the first two years’ tuition. Outraged, Pike abandoned his dreams of a formal education....

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Leonidas Polk. In ecclesiastical vestments. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-3826).

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Polk, Leonidas (10 April 1806–14 June 1864), clergyman and army officer, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of William Polk, a revolutionary war veteran and prosperous planter, and Sarah Hawkins. He entered the University of North Carolina in 1821 but left for West Point in 1823. Despite an alleged cheating incident, he graduated eighth in the class of 1827. Having professed faith in Christianity, he resigned his commission shortly thereafter and entered Virginia Theological Seminary. In 1830 he married Frances Ann Devereux, daughter of a wealthy North Carolina planter. The union produced eight children....

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Shoup, Francis Asbury (22 March 1834–04 September 1896), Confederate soldier, clergyman, and educator, was born in Laurel, Indiana, the son of George Grove Shoup, a merchant and politician, and Jane Conwell. He attended Asbury College (now DePauw University), before deciding on a military career. Given his family’s local prominence, he easily secured an appointment to West Point, from which he was graduated in 1855. As an artillery subaltern, he did garrison duty in Florida and South Carolina and served in the Seminole War of 1856–1858. During these formative tours of duty, Shoup forged close friendships with many southern-born soldiers and civilians, whose aristocratic pretensions he shared; apparently he came to consider himself a southerner at heart if not by birthright. When he resigned from the army in 1860, he returned to his native state but the following year settled in St. Augustine, Florida, where he practiced law....