{⋆★⋆} BG Ferguson, Samuel W.

Samuel Wragg Ferguson
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Brig. General Ferguson.jpg


Born: November 3, 1834

Birth Place: Charleston, South Carolina

Father: Colonel James Ferguson 1784 – 1874
(Buried: Saint Phillips Episcopal Church, Charleston, South Carolina)​

Mother: Abigail Ann Barker 1810 – 1867

Wife: Catherine “Kate” Lee 1841 – 1928
(Buried: Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, Biloxi, Mississippi)​

Children:

James DuGue Ferguson 1865 – 1937​
(Buried: Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, Biloxi, Mississippi)​
Nathalie Ferguson Gayer 1869 – 1940​
(Buried: Knollwood Cemetery, Mayfield Heights, Ohio)​
Harry Lee Ferguson 1873 – 1955​
(Buried: Corozal American Cemetery, Panama City, Panama)​
Percy Ferguson 1877 – 1956​
(Buried: Beauvoir Confederate Cemetery, Biloxi, Mississippi)​

Education:

Attended West Point Military Academy (Left before Graduating)​

Occupation before War:

1857 – 1861: Served in the United States Army, rising to Lt.​

Civil War Career:

1861: Captain in the Provisional Army of South Carolina​
1861: Aide to General Beauregard during Fort Sumter​
1862: Staff officer during the Battle of Shiloh​
1862: Lt. Colonel of 28th​ Mississippi Cavalry Regiment​
1863: Participated in the Vicksburg, Mississippi Campaign​
1863 – 1865: Brigadier General of Confederate Army, Cavalry​
1865: Escort for President Jefferson Davis thru South Carolina​

Occupation after War:
Attorney in the State of Mississippi​
President of United States Board of Mississippi River Commissioners​
Secretary & Treasurer of Mississippi Levee Board​
Civil Engineer in Charleston South Carolina​

Died: February 3, 1917

Place of Death: Jackson, Mississippi

Age at time of Death: 82 years old

Burial Place: Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, Mississippi
 
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Jan 29, 2019
Samuel Wragg Ferguson, graduated from West Point Military Academy in the Class of 1857, graduating eighteenth overall in his class of thirty-eight cadets. Ben McCulloch, the famous Texas Ranger, was one of the Board of Visitors during the graduation and had grown fond of Ferguson, and just days later he took him to the Whitehouse, at Washington, D.C. and introduced him to President James Buchanan, Vice President John C. Breckinridge, as well as other cabinet members. During this same trip Sam Ferguson was also introduced for the first time to the 23rd Secretary of War, Jefferson Finis Davis. Sam Ferguson entered the U.S. Army, as a 2nd Lieutenant, and upon graduation from West Point he had heard rumors of an expedition which would be leaving very soon for Utah, to be conducted against the Mormons. Wanting to participate in the expedition, he requested to be assigned with the 2nd Dragoons, under the command of Col. Phillip St. George Cook, which was one of the regiments selected for the expedition. His request was granted and he was ordered to report to his new regiment within ten days, as a 2nd Lieutenant, reporting to Captain Frederick Steele`s Company, with whom he participated in the Mormon Expedition from 1857-1858. During which time, he operated at Fort Leavenworth, Fort Kearney, Fort Riley, Fort Laramie, Fort Bridger, Provo City and Salt Lake City.

In November 1858 Sam Ferguson was informed that he was being reassigned from the 2nd Dragoons to the 1st Dragoons, and was ordered to join his new regiment, at his current rank of 2nd Lieutenant, at Fort Walla-Walla, Washington Territory. Here he remained, performing garrison duty, until about 27 Dec 1860, when receiving news of Lincoln`s election win and hearing of the secession of South Carolina, he immediately resigned his commission from the U.S. Army and went home. On 31 Mar 1861, at Charleston, he enlisted and accepted a commission as Captain of infantry in the Regular Army of South Carolina. A few days later, General P.G.T. Beauregard, being placed in command of all the Confederate forces at Charleston and its environs, selected Captains Samuel Wragg Ferguson and Stephen D. Lee as his Aides-de-Camp.

Here is an interesting irony to Sam Ferguson`s story. When the siege and bombardment of Fort Sumter was under way, General Beauregard, several times, sent both Captains Sam Ferguson and Stephen D. Lee to negotiate the surrender of Fort Sumter with Major Robert Anderson, the U.S. Commandant of the Fort. It was Capt. Sam Ferguson who eventually received the formal surrender and the keys of Fort Sumter from Major Anderson. Capt. Sam Ferguson was then ordered to lower the U.S. Flag which had been flying in Fort Sumter and hoist up in its place the Confederate banner, being the Confederate First National Flag (although the S.C. Palmetto Flag was hoisted on the ramparts first). As well as post the Confederate guard in and around the Fort. This was the first time that the Confederate First National Flag was hoisted over a U.S. Military Installation won in battle, which provoked Lincoln to declare war and begin to recruit 75,000 volunteers, with which to build his army, in preparation for the hostilities which would very soon break out across our great nation. Here is the irony, just days after participating in the bombardment of Fort Sumter, Sam Ferguson drew from the U.S. Paymaster at Charleston, who was on his way out of the city, his last pay for two months service in the U.S. Army, which was owed him before he resigned his 2nd Lieutenant commission, slightly less than four months before.

Here is another bit of interesting information, in July 1914 Sam Ferguson was recognized by the Federal government to be the last living officer of 255 graduates of West Point Military Academy, who served as officers in the U.S. Army and resigned their commissions to enlist in the Confederate States Army. Congress had only recently repealed punitive legislation, which it initially passed into law just after the close of the Civil War, which imposed penalties on West Point graduates who served in the Confederate army. Samuel Wragg Ferguson was the only one still living who qualified for direct payments for their actual service, which they called longevity pay, with the heirs of the other 254 officers who qualified for the payment receiving their part of the lump sum of money, being a total of $174,000 having been set aside in the bill for that purpose.

Note: Regarding the introduction between Sam Ferguson, President James Buchanan, Vice President John C. Breckinridge and Jefferson Davis, this would have been in early March 1857, either the day of or days after his Inauguration (4 Mar 1857), and either before Jefferson Davis` position was filled by John B. Floyd, the incoming 24th Secretary of War, or days after as Davis was preparing to return to Mississippi. Jefferson Davis had been the Secretary of War during the previous administration, that being President Franklin Pierce from 1853-1857. The Mormon Expedition was conducted between March 1857-July 1858. This was the first time that Sam Ferguson met both Jefferson Davis and John C. Breckinridge, but during the Civil War he developed very close relationships with both men, and in the case of Davis they went on to remain close friends, spending much time together after the war until Davis died, on 6 Dec 1889, of acute bronchitis while visiting New Orleans. Sam Ferguson was one of the pall bearers at Jefferson Davis` funeral, as was Stephen D. Lee, where his body was temporarily interred at New Orleans’s Metairie Cemetery. Less than three and one half years later, from 27-31 May 1893, Sam Ferguson, Stephen D. Lee and others, along with the Davis family, escorted the exhumed remains of Jefferson Davis, from New Orleans to Richmond, VA., to be reposed at Hollywood Cemetery, where his remains rest to this day.
 
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