The Sun

Baltimore, Md.

January 11, 1904

Twelve Cents

Cedar Creek 137th Anniversary Special Section

October 14, 2001

General Gordon's Death.

After the death of General Longstreet on January 2 there were only five officers of the Confederate Army who claimed the rank of lieutenant general - John B. Gordon, of Georgia; Stephen D. Lee, of Mississippi; Joseph Wheeler, of Alabama; A. P. Stewart, of Tennessee, and S. D. Buckner, of Kentucky. General Gordon died at Miami, Fla., on Saturday. A biographical sketch published in The Sun gives the leading incidents in his career as a soldier during the Civil War and as a public man after the conflict ended.

John B. Gordon was a soldier of whose valor and skill in war every American may be proud. Born in Georgia in 1832, of Scotch ancestry, he was trained to the profession of law. In his genius for commanding troops, for conducting military operations and for fighting he exemplified in the highest degree the best qualities of the American volunteer soldier.

He was a product of the old South, thoroughly imbued with its spirit. He believed he was right in espousing the cause of his State, and after the war he never had any apologies to make for fighting its battles. A man of heroic presence, of unfaltering courage, he was an ideal soldier, who inspired his men by his chivalrous example.

From the rank of captain he rose to the grade of lieutenant general. On many a bloody field he led his soldiers to victory. He was an impetuous, dashing leader, ever in the forefront of danger - the bravest of the brave.

Often wounded - sometimes grievously - his life was spared for the service of his people in the trying period which followed the war.

General Gordon was held in the highest admiration and affection by the people of the South. His own State conferred conspicuous honors upon him. He served the people of Georgia as Governor and was thrice elected to the United States Senate.

General Gordon was not only a soldier, but he also possessed many of the qualities of a statesman. He was a prominent figure in the Senate - a forceful and eloquent speaker, a man who always had the courage of his convictions. He enjoyed to an exceptional extent the respect and admiration of those whom he had opposed in the war, and also of his political opponents in Congress. He was, in fine, of a type of manhood which compels respect. In the North as well as in the South General Gordon was recognized as a chivalrous soldier and gentlemen, whose career in war and in peace was worthy of the best American traditions.

The heroes of the Confederacy - the officers of high rank and the hosts of private soldiers whom they led in the four years' conflict - are fast passing away. Within the last few years the noble Hampton has answered the final summons. Now Gordon and Longstreet have been called. Of Hampton and Gordon and many other Confederate generals who preceded them to that bourne whence none return it can be said in all truth that they were without fear and without reproach. They were the best products of Southern civilization - of a civilization which gave the country a Washington and a Jefferson. Their fame will not perish with them. So long as the South is loyal to its noblest traditions it will cherish the memories of the knightly men who led the armies of the Confederacy and made the term "Southern Soldier" synonymous with valor that never faltered and devotion that was unswerving.

Great in War and in Peace

The death of Gen. John Brown Gordon occurred just a week after that of General Longstreet and removes another of the very few surviving Confederate leaders. In an official report, Gen. D. H. Hill characterized General Gordon as the "Chevalier Bayard of the Confederate Army."

After the war he served the State of Georgia as Governor and United States Senator.

He had been Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans since its organization.

General Gordon was born in Upson county, Georgia, Feb. 6, 1832, of Scotch ancestry. He was graduated in 1852 from the University of Georgia and a few months later was admitted to the practice of law. Early in 1861 he enlisted with the volunteer Confederate soldiery and was elected captain of his company, rising by promotion to major and then lieutenant colonel of the Sixth Alabama Infantry in December, 1861. At the battle of Seven Pines, during the gallant advance of his brigade, Rodes was severely wounded and the command devolved upon Gordon as senior colonel.

At Malvern Hill Gordon again commanded the brigade and led it in the magnificent charge against the Federal position by Hill's Division.

Commissioned brigadier general November 1, 1862, he was assigned to the command of a gallant brigade of Georgians, which he commanded at Chancellorsville and in the Pennsylvania campaign.

At the battle of Sharpsburg General Gordon was wounded five times, the last ball striking him in the face. It was thought he could not possibly recover, but he did.

He fought at Gettysburg, in the Wilderness, at Petersburg and other battles with conspicuous gallantry.

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