A Happy Birthday to the legendary Patrick Cleburne

Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
332
#1
Making this post to celebrate 191st birthday of that most legendary Confederate general, Patrick Ronayne Cleburne.
Quite the popular figure among Civil War buffs, his legacy is quite forgotten by the general public, possibly due to his rank in comparison to more noted generals; possibly because his most legendary moment, not a battlefield action but a proposal to arm slaves to fight for the Confederacy, never came to fruition in his life time (it would be enacted by Confederate Congress the next year, but his proposal was swept under the rug to prevent unrest and debate of the issue).
A quick rundown of his life:
Born in Cork, Ireland, 28th March, 1828.
Came from an Anglican middle class family; felt like an outsider in his own native land.
Joined the British 41st Regiment and became a Corporal before he resigned.
Left for America with family in 1848 (Irish Potato Famine)
Most of family moved to the North Midwest (Primarily Ohio)
Patrick moved to Helena, Arkansas and became an assistant at a Pharmacy.
Eventually became a lawyer.
Was friends with Thomas Hindman, politician and future Confederate general as well, in opposition to the Know-Nothing Movement (due to their militant anti-immigrant stance). The 2 were involved in a gunfight with Know Nothings; Cleburne took a bullet for Hindman.
When the 1860-'61 crisis started taking shape, joined the local militia company (Yell Rifles), becoming their captain.
Company joined with others to form the 1st Arkansas Regiment (renamed the 15th Arkansas, to distinguish from Fagan's Regiment of the same name), and elected their Colonel.
Came under the wing of General Hardee, becoming his protege.
Made a Brigadier just prior to the Battle of Shiloh.
Fought at Shiloh, his brigade suffering horrific casualties.
Fought the small scale battle of Farmington.
Organized a special sharpshooter company from his brigade.
Took command of a demi-division to join Kirby Smith in his invasion of Kentucky.
Fought with distinction at Richmond (Kentucky), leading the bulk of Confederate forces on the field and routing Nelson's ragtag army before being taken out of action by a cheek wound. Previously clean shaven, he would grow out his now iconic beard during his recovery.
Re-assumed command of brigade and fought at Perryville, with honors.
Promoted Major General and given a division of his brigade of Arkansans and Tennesseans (Under Lucius Polk), Liddell's (Later Dan Govan's) Arkansan Brigade, S.A.M. Wood's (Later Mark Lowrey's) Alabaman and Mississippian Brigade, and Bushrod Johnson's Tennessean Brigade.
Fought at Murfreesboro on first day; in flank attack that caused the initial Union rout.
Took part in the squablings against Bragg for his perceived incompetence (nearly every divisional commander and both Corps commanders took part in the campaign to have him removed). Davis backed Bragg, and he remained in command. This would leave a bad taste in the mouths of every high tiered officer in the Army of Tennessee.
Johnson's brigade swapped for Churchill's/Deshler's Texas Brigade (Later James A. Smith's and most famously Granbury's Texas Brigade).
Took part in the Tullahoma campaign and the pre-Chickamauga maneuvers.
Fought a famous nighttime attack at Chickamauga on the 19th, successfully pushing back the federals.
Held Tunnel Hill against Sherman during the Missionary Ridge battle; successfully held off Sherman (who barely committed any forces to the attack), the only Confederate success that day.
27th November, 1864 - in a brilliant rearguard defensive action, held off Hooker's advance from hitting the AoT's supply wagons. Would earn him praise throughout the Confederacy, being proclaimed the "Stonewall of the West".
2nd of January, 1864 - in the presence of the new army commander Joe Johnston and most of the upper echelon of the AoT, made his proposal to arm slaves to fight for the Confederacy. Was brutally rebuffed by many of his colleagues (plus staff member Calhoun Benham, whose copy is the only remaining one of the proposal), most notable W. H. T. Walker, who accused him of being a traitor to the cause, and against orders, sent a copy to Jeff Davis, who ordered the matter silenced. Cleburne's reputation would not recover, though he remained with the Army, he never won promotion to Corps command.
Fought in the many small actions of the Atlanta Campaign, most notably at Rocky Face Ridge, Pickett's Mill (his other great defensive victory, like at Ringgold Gap), and Kennesaw.
22nd July, 1864 - Served with distinction at the legendary Battle of Atlanta. His command breifly captured Bald Hill before being bloodily repulsed.
31st August and 1st September, 1864 - Battle of Jonesborough. Briefly commanded Hardee's Corps on the first day. Due to a miscommunication with Mark Lowrey (in command of Cleburne's division), attack failed. Reverted to division command when Hardee returned. On second day, Govan's Arkansan Brigade overrun and 600 men captured. This resulted in Hood leaving Atlanta, ending the campaign. Govan's men would be exchanged, but the command was in shambles.
29th November, 1864 - Battle of Spring Hill. Cleburne's men assault parts of Wagner's division, overrunning their position before being repulsed by Opdyke's brigade. Drew back up and was ordered by Hood to wait for Brown to form up his division, Cleburne remained static, as did the rest of the army, as Schofield's Army moved past them that night. The chance to close a trap on the main Union force in Tennessee was lost.
30th November, 1864 - Battle of Franklin. Cleburne and his 2500 man division rout Wagner's exposed division and breifly break through the main line, before being pushed by by Opdyke's brigade. Cleburne had 2 of his horse killed, and was charging in on foot when he received that fatal shot. He was the highest ranking loss of the battle, of 6 generals killed, 8 wounded (1 of which was captured), and between 4500 and 6252 casualties depending if you believe Schofield's or Hood's casualty report. This crippled the already under-strength Army of Tennessee, which would be nearly annihilated at Nashville.
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#3
Making this post to celebrate 191st birthday of that most legendary Confederate general, Patrick Ronayne Cleburne.
Quite the popular figure among Civil War buffs, his legacy is quite forgotten by the general public, possibly due to his rank in comparison to more noted generals; possibly because his most legendary moment, not a battlefield action but a proposal to arm slaves to fight for the Confederacy, never came to fruition in his life time (it would be enacted by Confederate Congress the next year, but his proposal was swept under the rug to prevent unrest and debate of the issue).
A quick rundown of his life:
Born in Cork, Ireland, 28th March, 1828.
Came from an Anglican middle class family; felt like an outsider in his own native land.
Joined the British 41st Regiment and became a Corporal before he resigned.
Left for America with family in 1848 (Irish Potato Famine)
Most of family moved to the North Midwest (Primarily Ohio)
Patrick moved to Helena, Arkansas and became an assistant at a Pharmacy.
Eventually became a lawyer.
Was friends with Thomas Hindman, politician and future Confederate general as well, in opposition to the Know-Nothing Movement (due to their militant anti-immigrant stance). The 2 were involved in a gunfight with Know Nothings; Cleburne took a bullet for Hindman.
When the 1860-'61 crisis started taking shape, joined the local militia company (Yell Rifles), becoming their captain.
Company joined with others to form the 1st Arkansas Regiment (renamed the 15th Arkansas, to distinguish from Fagan's Regiment of the same name), and elected their Colonel.
Came under the wing of General Hardee, becoming his protege.
Made a Brigadier just prior to the Battle of Shiloh.
Fought at Shiloh, his brigade suffering horrific casualties.
Fought the small scale battle of Farmington.
Organized a special sharpshooter company from his brigade.
Took command of a demi-division to join Kirby Smith in his invasion of Kentucky.
Fought with distinction at Richmond (Kentucky), leading the bulk of Confederate forces on the field and routing Nelson's ragtag army before being taken out of action by a cheek wound. Previously clean shaven, he would grow out his now iconic beard during his recovery.
Re-assumed command of brigade and fought at Perryville, with honors.
Promoted Major General and given a division of his brigade of Arkansans and Tennesseans (Under Lucius Polk), Liddell's (Later Dan Govan's) Arkansan Brigade, S.A.M. Wood's (Later Mark Lowrey's) Alabaman and Mississippian Brigade, and Bushrod Johnson's Tennessean Brigade.
Fought at Murfreesboro on first day; in flank attack that caused the initial Union rout.
Took part in the squablings against Bragg for his perceived incompetence (nearly every divisional commander and both Corps commanders took part in the campaign to have him removed). Davis backed Bragg, and he remained in command. This would leave a bad taste in the mouths of every high tiered officer in the Army of Tennessee.
Johnson's brigade swapped for Churchill's/Deshler's Texas Brigade (Later James A. Smith's and most famously Granbury's Texas Brigade).
Took part in the Tullahoma campaign and the pre-Chickamauga maneuvers.
Fought a famous nighttime attack at Chickamauga on the 19th, successfully pushing back the federals.
Held Tunnel Hill against Sherman during the Missionary Ridge battle; successfully held off Sherman (who barely committed any forces to the attack), the only Confederate success that day.
27th November, 1864 - in a brilliant rearguard defensive action, held off Hooker's advance from hitting the AoT's supply wagons. Would earn him praise throughout the Confederacy, being proclaimed the "Stonewall of the West".
2nd of January, 1864 - in the presence of the new army commander Joe Johnston and most of the upper echelon of the AoT, made his proposal to arm slaves to fight for the Confederacy. Was brutally rebuffed by many of his colleagues (plus staff member Calhoun Benham, whose copy is the only remaining one of the proposal), most notable W. H. T. Walker, who accused him of being a traitor to the cause, and against orders, sent a copy to Jeff Davis, who ordered the matter silenced. Cleburne's reputation would not recover, though he remained with the Army, he never won promotion to Corps command.
Fought in the many small actions of the Atlanta Campaign, most notably at Rocky Face Ridge, Pickett's Mill (his other great defensive victory, like at Ringgold Gap), and Kennesaw.
22nd July, 1864 - Served with distinction at the legendary Battle of Atlanta. His command breifly captured Bald Hill before being bloodily repulsed.
31st August and 1st September, 1864 - Battle of Jonesborough. Briefly commanded Hardee's Corps on the first day. Due to a miscommunication with Mark Lowrey (in command of Cleburne's division), attack failed. Reverted to division command when Hardee returned. On second day, Govan's Arkansan Brigade overrun and 600 men captured. This resulted in Hood leaving Atlanta, ending the campaign. Govan's men would be exchanged, but the command was in shambles.
29th November, 1864 - Battle of Spring Hill. Cleburne's men assault parts of Wagner's division, overrunning their position before being repulsed by Opdyke's brigade. Drew back up and was ordered by Hood to wait for Brown to form up his division, Cleburne remained static, as did the rest of the army, as Schofield's Army moved past them that night. The chance to close a trap on the main Union force in Tennessee was lost.
30th November, 1864 - Battle of Franklin. Cleburne and his 2500 man division rout Wagner's exposed division and breifly break through the main line, before being pushed by by Opdyke's brigade. Cleburne had 2 of his horse killed, and was charging in on foot when he received that fatal shot. He was the highest ranking loss of the battle, of 6 generals killed, 8 wounded (1 of which was captured), and between 4500 and 6252 casualties depending if you believe Schofield's or Hood's casualty report. This crippled the already under-strength Army of Tennessee, which would be nearly annihilated at Nashville.
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Pat Cleburne.jpg
Happy St. Pat's to General Cleburne! Definitely a true believer and great warrior!
 

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