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Anderson, Joseph Reid (16 February 1813–07 September 1892), industrialist and Confederate soldier, was born in Botetourt County in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, the son of William Anderson and Anna Thomas, farmers. Anderson received his early education in the local schools. After having been rejected twice, he entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1832 at age nineteen. Graduating fourth of forty-nine in 1836, he preferred a post in the elite Corps of Engineers but was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Third Artillery. Soon he was assigned to Fort Monroe, where he met his first wife, Sally Archer, daughter of the post physician, Dr. Robert Archer. They were married in the spring of 1837 and eventually had five children....

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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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Bragg, Braxton (22 March 1817–27 September 1876), Confederate general, was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, the son of Thomas Bragg, a contractor, and Margaret Crosland. His father earned enough to send his children to the best local schools. Upon Braxton’s graduation from Warrenton Male Academy, he was accepted by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1833). Steadily distinguishing himself, Bragg rose in rank to cadet captain, completing his studies at West Point among the top ten of his graduating class (1837)....

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Cheatham, Benjamin Franklin (20 October 1820–04 September 1886), soldier, was born at “Westover,” a plantation near Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Leonard Pope Cheatham, a lawyer and planter, and Elizabeth Robertson. Frank, as he was called, was tutored at home, then attended a boys’ school in Nashville, and later spent two years at a college in Kentucky (1837–1839). For about the next two years, Cheatham worked at a dry goods store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then returned to work on his family’s plantation and to help his father in his job as postmaster at Nashville....

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Cleburne, Patrick Ronayne (17 March 1828–30 November 1864), Confederate officer, was born in Ireland, the son of Joseph Cleburne, a physician, and Mary Ann Ronayne. In 1846, failing to gain admission to medical school in Dublin, he enlisted in the British Forty-first Regiment of Foot. In 1849, receiving a small legacy, he purchased his discharge from the British army and, with other family members, emigrated to the United States. In 1850 he took over a pharmacy in Helena, Arkansas; later he became a lawyer....

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Colquitt, Alfred Holt (20 April 1824–26 March 1894), Confederate military officer and politician, was born in Walton County, Georgia, the son of Walter T. Colquitt, an attorney and later a judge, congressman, and U.S. senator, and Nancy Lane. Graduating from Princeton University in 1844, Colquitt studied law and was admitted to the bar in Georgia in 1846....

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Gordon, John Brown (06 February 1832–09 January 1904), soldier and politician, was born in Upson County, Georgia, the son of Zachariah Herndon Gordon, a minister, and Malinda Cox. After studies at a private school established by his father, John attended Pleasant Green Academy for a year before entering the University of Georgia in 1850. He did well at Georgia but did not graduate. In 1854 he moved to Atlanta to pursue a legal career. His practice, however, was not as successful as he had hoped, and he decided to explore other fields of employment. After a brief stint as a journalist covering the Georgia General Assembly, he joined his father in a coal-mining venture that quickly prospered. In 1854 he married Fanny Rebecca Haralson, with whom he had six children....

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Gorgas, Josiah (01 July 1818–15 May 1883), soldier, was born at Running Pumps, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Gorgas and Sophia Atkinson, farmers and innkeepers. Apprenticed at seventeen to a newspaper printery in Lyons, New York, Josiah accepted appointment to the U.S. Military Academy in 1837 and was graduated sixth in his class in 1841. Brevet Second Lieutenant Gorgas selected the Ordnance Corps and drew assignment to Watervliet Arsenal, near Troy, New York. After a year’s travel in Europe, 1845–1846, he joined General ...

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Hindman, Thomas Carmichael (28 January 1828–27 September 1868), general and congressman, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Thomas Carmichael Hindman and Sallie Holt. His father moved to Jacksonville, Alabama, in 1832 as an Indian agent of the federal government and then to Ripley, Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1841, where he operated a large plantation. As the son of a well-to-do family, Hindman attended a variety of local private schools and graduated in 1846 from the Lawrenceville Classical and Commercial Institute located near Princeton, New Jersey....

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Arthur W. Bergeron

Hood, John Bell (29 June 1831–30 August 1879), soldier, was born in Owingsville, Bath County, Kentucky, the son of John W. Hood, a physician, and Theodosia French. Hood grew up near Mount Sterling in Montgomery County, attending local schools and taught by private tutors. In 1849 he was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; he had an undistinguished record there, graduating forty-fourth in a class of fifty-two in 1853. He received a commission as brevet second lieutenant in the Fourth U.S. Infantry and was stationed in California. Two years later Hood transferred to the Second U.S. Cavalry and accompanied that regiment to Texas. After serving well in an engagement with Indians, he was promoted to first lieutenant. Hood resigned his commission on 16 April 1861, after the secession of Texas, a state with which he had come to identify strongly. Because his native Kentucky did not leave the Union, Hood offered his services to the newly formed Confederate government as a Texan....

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Imboden, John Daniel (16 February 1823–15 August 1895), army officer and lawyer, was born near Staunton in Augusta County, Virginia, the son of George William Imboden and Isabella Wunderlich. Little is known of his parents except that his father fought in the War of 1812. He attended Washington College in 1841 and 1842. Later, in Staunton, he read law, was admitted to the bar, and practiced for some years. He served two terms in the state legislature. After the election of ...

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Jackson, Thomas Jonathan (21 January 1824–10 May 1863), Confederate general, known as “Stonewall,” was born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son of Jonathan Jackson, an attorney, and Julia Beckwith Neale. He had an empty, often unhappy childhood. Orphaned at the age of six, the lad spent ten formative years of his life with an uncle who owned lumber and grist mills in Lewis County south of Clarksburg. Although Jackson would later say, “Uncle was like a father to me,” parental affection was sadly lacking in his life. He grew up shy, introverted, and awkward....

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Jenkins, Albert Gallatin (10 November 1830–21 May 1864), congressman and Confederate general, was born at “Greenbottom,” Cabell County, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son of William A. Jenkins, businessman and planter, and Jeannette Grigsby McNutt. Before settling in western Virginia along the Ohio River on his Greenbottom plantation, William A. Jenkins had prospered as the owner of a shipping business that exported tobacco and cotton to South America in exchange for coffee. Albert received preparatory schooling at the Marshall Academy in nearby Huntington. In 1846 he and his two brothers enrolled at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, graduating two years later. From 1848 to 1850 Jenkins attended Harvard Law School, earning his LL.B. degree in July 1850. Returning to his native state, he was admitted to the bar and began his legal practice in Charleston. In 1858 he married Virginia Southard Bowlin. The couple had three children who lived to adulthood and, according to family history, a fourth who died in infancy....

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Johnston, Joseph Eggleston (03 February 1807–21 March 1891), Confederate general, was born near Farmville, Virginia, the son of Peter Johnston, a circuit court judge, and Mary Wood Valentine. He grew to manhood in Abingdon, in the western toe of Virginia, and attended the local private academy. In 1825 he received an appointment to West Point, where he was a classmate of ...

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Kemper, James Lawson (11 June 1823–07 April 1895), Confederate general and governor of Virginia, was born in Madison County, Virginia, the son of William Kemper, a merchant and farmer, and Maria Elizabeth Allison. From 1840 to 1842 he was a student at Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, graduating from that institution with the equivalent of a modern-day B.A. During his student days in Lexington he also attended a civil engineering class at the Virginia Military Institute and, as a “Cincinnati cadet” volunteer, participated in a citizen-soldier training program as well....

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Lee, Fitzhugh (19 November 1835–28 April 1905), army officer, was born at “Clermont,” Fairfax County, Virginia, the son of Sydney Smith Lee, a naval officer, and Anna Maria Mason, a member of a family prominent in Virginia politics. He was the grandson of ...

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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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Longstreet, James (08 January 1821–02 January 1904), Confederate general, was born in the Edgefield District of South Carolina, the son of James Longstreet and Mary Anne Dent, planters. He grew up in Gainesville, Georgia, and was educated at the Richmond Academy in Augusta, Georgia, where he lived with his uncle, ...

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Lovell, Mansfield (20 October 1822–01 June 1884), soldier and civil engineer, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Dr. Joseph Lovell, surgeon general of the U.S. Army from 1818 to 1836, and Margaret Mansfield. Having entered West Point at the age of sixteen, he graduated in 1842 and was assigned to the Fourth Artillery Regiment as a second lieutenant. During the Mexican War he was wounded at the battle of Monterrey (18–21 Sept. 1846) and in the storming of Mexico City (13–14 Sept. 1847), in the process winning promotion to first lieutenant and being brevetted captain for gallantry in action. In 1849 he married Emily Plympton, the daughter of an army officer. In 1854, tiring of garrison duty along the frontier, he resigned from the army to take a position with the Cooper & Hewitt’s Iron Works in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1858 he moved to New York City, where he was at first superintendent of street improvement, then deputy street commissioner under another future Confederate general, ...

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Morgan, John Hunt (01 June 1825–04 September 1864), soldier and Confederate general, was born in Huntsville, Alabama, the son of Calvin Cogswell Morgan, a wholesale merchant and planter, and Henrietta Hunt, the daughter of an entrepreneur. When Morgan was six years old, his family relocated to Fayette County, Kentucky, near Lexington. He attended Transylvania University but was suspended for dueling and never completed his studies. During the Mexican War he served in a volunteer cavalry regiment that distinguished itself at Buena Vista in 1847. Desiring a career in the military but denied the opportunity, Morgan became a businessman, investing in hemp manufacturing and the woolen industry, as well as the slave trade. He also was active for several years in the Kentucky militia, forming a sixty-man company known as the “Lexington Rifles.” In 1848 Morgan had married Rebecca Bruce. After giving birth to a stillborn child, she lingered as an invalid for eight years prior to her death in July 1861. Seventeen months later, Morgan married twenty-one-year-old Martha Ready of Murfreesboro, Tennessee....