Skip to comments.Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne—Stonewall Jackson of the West
Posted on 03/06/2010 2:27:46 PM PST by BigReb555
Who was Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne?
Do you remember the 1961 weekly television series, entitled The Americans? This wonderful-educational show centered around two brothers who fought on opposite sides of the War Between the StatesConfederate Corporal Jeff Canfield played by Richard Davalos and Union Corporal Ben Canfield played by Darryl Hickman. Their Father, Pa Canfield, was played by the late great John McIntire. The great theme music was produced by Hugo Friedhofer and original music by Bernard Hermann.
When I was growing up near Atlanta, Georgia school children could recite some of the words to the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights and knew the true history of those who gave us our freedom. Politicians in their speeches proudly quoted from American Patriots like; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee.
Who was Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne?
Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was born on March 17, 1828, in Ovens, County Cork, Ireland. He was an Anglo-Irish soldier who served in the 41st Regiment of Foot of the British Army. He is however best known for his service to the Confederates States of America during the War Between the States.
He was only eighteen months old when his Mother died and a young fifteen when his Father passed away. He tried to follow in his Fathers foot steps, Dr. Joseph Cleburne, in the field of medicine but failed his entrance exam to Trinity College of Medicine in 1848. He immigrated to America three years later with two brothers and a sister and made his home in Helena, Arkansas.
In 1860 Cleburne became a naturalized citizen, lawyer and was popular with the residents.
He sided with the Confederacy at the outbreak of the War Between the States and progressed from the rank of private of the local militia to major general.
Cleburne, like many Southerners, did not support the institution of slavery but chose to serve his adopted country out of love for the Southern people and their quest for independence and freedom. In 1864, he advocated the emancipation of Black men to serve in the Confederate Armed Forces. In early 1865, his dream became a reality but it was then too late--the war was lost.
Did you know that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant owned slaves but Gen. Robert E. Lee did not?
Cleburne participated in the Battles of Shiloh, Richmond, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold Gap and Franklin. He was killed at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864.
Due to his brilliant strategy on the battlefield Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne was nicknamed Stonewall Jackson of the West.
General Patrick R. Cleburne said before his death at the Battle of Franklin:
"If this cause, that is dear to my heart, is doomed to fail, I pray heaven may let me fall with it, while my face is toward the enemy and my arm battling for that which I know is right."
Cleburne was engaged to Susan Tarleton of Mobile, Alabama.
On March 17, 1979, Cleburnes birthday, I organized the Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne Camp 1361 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Jonesboro, Georgia which is still active. The Confederate Cemetery in Jonesboro is also named in honor of the general.
Gen. Cleburne is buried in Maple Hill Cemetery in Helena, Arkansas.
A good book A Meteor Shining Brightly Essays on Maj. Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne --edited by Mauriel Phillips Joslyn, is a good source of information about Cleburne.
“Cleburne, like many Southerners, did not support the institution of slavery.” Without foundation and wishful thinking to whitewash the true nature of the Southern society prior to the Civil War.
As for Grant and Lee it took 30 seconds to debunk that drivel on the web:
On August 28, 1848, Grant married Julia Dent from St. Louis, whose family held slaves. Grant himself owned a slave named William Jones, acquired from his father-in-law. At a time when he could have desperately used the money from the sale of Jones, Grant signed a document that gave him his freedom.
As a member of the Virginia aristocracy, Lee lived in close contact with slavery before he joined the army and held variously around a half-dozen slaves under his own name. When George Washington Parke Custis died in October 1857, Robert E. Lee, one of four executors of the Custis estate, determined that the slave labor was necessary to improve Arlington’s financial status.
The will provided for the slaves to be emancipated “in such a manner as to my executors may seem most expedient and proper”, providing a maximum of five years for the legal and logistical details of manumission. Lee found himself in need of funds to pay his father-in-law’s debts and repair the properties he had inherited. Custis’ will stipulated that all the Arlington slaves should be freed upon his death with any debts and legacies paid for all within a five year period. The Arlington slaves found Lee to be a stringent executor of Custis’ will. Rather than emancipation, Lee decided to make money by taking control of the slaves, working them on the plantation, and hiring them out to neighboring plantations and to eastern Virginia.
Lee tried to hire an overseer to handle the plantation in his absence, writing to his cousin, “I wish to get an energetic honest farmer, who while he will be considerate & kind to the negroes, will be firm & make them do their duty.” Lee failed to find a man for the job, and had to take a two-year leave of absence from the army in order to run the plantation himself. He found the experience frustrating and difficult; some of the slaves were unhappy and demanded their freedom. Many of them had been given to understand that they were to be made free as soon as Custis died. In May 1858, Lee wrote to his son Rooney, “I have had some trouble with some of the people. Reuben, Parks & Edward, in the beginning of the previous week, rebelled against my authority—refused to obey my orders, & said they were as free as I was, etc., etc.—I succeeded in capturing them & lodging them in jail. They resisted till overpowered & called upon the other people to rescue them.” Less than two months after they were sent to the Alexandria jail, Lee decided to remove these three men and three female house slaves from Arlington, and sent them under lock and key to the slave-trader William Overton Winston in Richmond, who was instructed to keep them in jail until he could find “good & responsible” slaveholders to work them until the end of the five year period.
Cleburne I’ll read up on because he sounds interesting. Thanks for the pointer.
My ancestors who were in the 6th and 1st Florida served under Cleburne. I don’t recall which battles except probably Shiloh but am certain he was their commander.
Just got through reading “Lee`s Gallant General” the story of Stephen Dodson Ramseur.The bravery and sense of honor of these brave men still echos down to a lot of people today
Sir: Thank you for your interest and knowledge of General Patrick Cleburne. You are absolutely correct. General Cleburne belongs in the company of General Jackson, General Lee, General Grant, General Sherman, General Thomas, General Sheriden,etc. The civil war elevated some of our nations best and outstanding Generals and officers regardless of whether they fought for the Union or the Confederacy. Many Americans do not understand that many elisted men and officers served their states because they loved them dearly. To General Robert E. Lee, Virginia was his home, his country. This story is repeated many times over for different men, but it was the way things were in that turbulent time for our nation. Cleburne has been treated good by history, as was Daniel Morgan and Nathaniel Green in Washington’s army. I’d be willing to bet that our present day POTUS, Barack “Hussein” Obama has no clue whom most of these men were. One thing certain we do know about POTUS Obama. His teachers and idols were all America haters, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Saul Alinsky and William Ayers, etc. POTUS Obama, what an American???
I have not personally researched the issue but it has been discussed on this forum enough that I know that your take is in error.
I do know that Grant did not free the slaves he got through his wife until forced to. I also know that Lee had freed the slaves he got through his wife before the war.
Your facts might be accurate to some extent but are misleading.
However, he got into political trouble with Jeff Davis and Joe Johnston in early 1864 by circulating a written proposal to offer freedom to slave who would fight in the Confederate armies. His meteoric rise suddenly stopped at that point and he remained a division commander until he was killed at during the big bloody frontal assault at Franklin.
Incorrect. Grant owned a slave given to him by his father-in-law for about a year. He freed the slave in 1859 before moving to Illinois. Lee owned slaves on and off during his life, and as executor of his father-in-law's estate he freed the last of the slaves left to him and his wife in December 1862.
That would be incorrect. All the Dent family slaves, including those used by Mrs. Grant, were freed early in 1863. Missouri didn't outlaw slavery until late 1864-early 1865.
Wrong on both counts.
To the extent of a reply they are not. They factually state the case. Grant did not buy slaves he was given one and then freed him. Lee owned personally slaves, inhereted more as executor, and freed those inherited by terms of the will in 1862 during the war.
I don’t see how they were misleading at all. However, while debunking the modern whitewash from Neo Confederates is one thing, to think I would apply modern morals to the period is also incorrect. If transported to that place and time and raised in that society, would we think the same? That period was that period. This period is now. I can excuse or have empathy for General Lee and see him as a historical figure. I cannot have empathy for those today who would revise history to make it something it wasn’t.
You have a number of inaccuracies in your comments.
Lincoln was the president of the United States, not of the northern United States, despite considerable attempts to make it otherwise.
It should be noted that Lincoln had no legal or constitutional authority to make any changes to the system of slavery in the loyal states. Despite this, he supported the various constitutional amendments for emancipation making their way thru Congress and made repeated attempts to arrange for compensated emancipation to be instituted for loyal slave owners, who repeatedly and rather short-sightedly rejected the offers. The Emancipation Proclamation was based on his war powers, and was essentially a confiscation of the property of those fighting against the Union.
Lincoln is repeatedly criticized by southern apologists for trampling on the Constitution, yet in this case where he refused to exceed his constitutional powers, they also criticize him for that.
Grant’s wife, not Grant, freed her slaves around the time of the initial Emancipation Proclamation, several years before slavery became illegal in the North.
So, unlike Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Lee actually emancipated some slaves...
God love you, it’s friendly fire. Cease fire! Cease fire!
How come any post regarding the Civil War always brings forth the back-and-forth about who was holier about slavery?
The fact is any of you arguing about it has 150 years of history to look back on. If you had been born in the era, you most likely would have been pro-slavery if it benefited you and you would have been abolitionist if it didn’t cost you any money anyway, you know, kind of like most everybody who lived in the actual era.
As you are no doubt aware, the 13th Amendment did not free all that many slaves in December 1865.
Maryland and Missouri had freed all slaves by state action previously, as did West Virginia. A few hundred remained in slavery in Delaware and a good number in Kentucky. As the Union armies advanced, slaves became free in the areas where they were in control.
I’m unclear precisely when and how slaves were freed in the various occupied areas of the South excluded from the Emancipation Proclamation.
We were with Sherman at Shiloh, 6th Iowa, one KIA at Missionary Ridge, several others in Illinois Regiments, still researching.
That charge is often leveled but it probably is incorrect. Cleburne didn't rise above division commander most likely because he wasn't a West Pointer in an army where virtually all senior commanders were West Pointers. While his suggestion to free slaves and incorporate them into the army was not well-received by Davis or most of Cleburne's peers, there is no real evidence that it was held against him in terms of future promotion.
I'm not saying one was holier than the other concerning slavery. I'm correcting a statement made which is false. Why are you so touchy about the truth?
By the time of his murder, Lincoln had by means of the EP emancipated something upwards of 3M slaves, more than any other person in history. With possible exception of Tsar Alexander II, depending on how you define slavery. (They murdered him, too.)
Of course, the EP didn't by itself directly and instantly free any slaves. How could any proclamation do so? But the Union Army's enforcement of the EP did a dandy job.
Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed hundreds of thousands of slaves. They just had to wait for the Union army to arrive.
Lee freed slaves off and on during his life. Lee was also a supporter of voluntary colonization of freed slaves to Africa. He paid passage for some of his, which was to their benefit since Virginia's constitution at the time said that any slave freed had to leave the state or be sold back into slavery.
Tis not a very convincing argument.
As you say, the northern states don’t have a tremendous amount of right to be all self-righteous about this issue.
When each northern state passed emancipation, the black population dropped dramatically by the time it went into effect.
Why? Because most of the slaves were sold south by their owners before the law could free them.
Lincoln himself said that both sections shared guilt for the crime and sin of slavery. The big difference (prior to the war) was that the north wanted to limit the expansion of slavery, while the south wanted to expand it. In fact, a great many in the South were planning wars of conquest in Latin America to create a great Slave Empire.
It is one thing to say a great evil is difficult to get rid of. Certainly in 1860 it’s impossible to see how, given the attitudes of those involved, slavery could have been peacefully scheduled for extinction. But it’s quite another to claim that a great evil is actually a positive good and should be expanded.
There weren't that many West Pointers in the Army of Tennessee, relative to the Army of Northern Virginia, who Cleburne had to compete with. Most of the West Pointers in that theater of the war had already fallen out with Davis. So Cleburne's failure to rise above Division Commander is inexplicable in my opinion, except for the bad impression he made within the Confederate High Command (Davis, Bragg, and Johnston) and the Confederate Congress with his written memorandum on the subject of allowing slaves to fight in exchange for their freedom.
Richard McMurray has a great book on the subject entitled Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History
“That charge is often leveled but it probably is incorrect. Cleburne didn’t rise above division commander most likely because he wasn’t a West Pointer in an army where virtually all senior commanders were West Pointers.”
Who really knows for certain? The fact is that he took a real risk in taking that position and it did not help him. Jefferson Davis made mistake after mistake in the West. Braxton Bragg, John Bell Hood. The point is that Cleburne’s sentiments, which were well known long before he circulated the petition in early January 1864 did him a world of harm in advancing, and you can read the link below if you doubt it.
The fact is that Cleburne was promoted in December 1862 to Major General (having been promoted to Brigadier General in March 1862) for his splendid efforts at Perryville and Shiloh. In January 1863, he performed brilliantly again at Stones River, superbly at Chicamauga in September and perhaps most critically in saving Bragg’s army at Missionary Ridge in November. Yet he was never promoted after December 1862. His meteoric rise stopped, and it certainly had nothing to do with his performance in battle. Maybe it was because he was not a West Pointer, but I think it had more to do with his views about black recruits for the Confederate Army becoming common knowledge at around the same time of the Emancipation Proclamation. The timing is just too coincidental.
I think it is easier to make the argument that Forrest’s lack of a West Point degree held him back, because he lacked any prior military experience whatsoever. Cleburne was a trained soldier and a veteran of the highly regarded British army. IN spite of his brilliance, Forrest rose much more slowly than Cleburne. After being promoted to Brigadier General in July 1862, it took him 18 months until December 1863 to attain the rank of Major General and another 13 months to attain the rank of LIeutenant General in January 1865.
Cleburne went from Colonel to Major General in nine months in 1862 and, for the remaining two years of his service until his death, was not promoted again. He wasn’t a West Pointer in 1862 but that did not seem to be holding him back.
From what I’ve read, many, if not most, Americans at that time considered themselves Americans, but also citizens of their states more so than citizens of the U.S.
Of course, the point was that it was carefully crafted to free no one at the time it was issued. I didn’t realize that Lee supported voluntary colonization. Lincoln also supported the colonization movement during his political career.
You trying to re-fight the Civil War?
Quite correct. That is because it was issued as a war measure against those in active rebellion at the time of issuance.
It could not have been otherwise.
You would perhaps prefer a country in which the president can confiscate the private property of law-abiding citizens whenever it pleases him to do so?
Re-fighting the War Between the States again? ;-)
It could have been otherwise.
It was a fairly mainstream position in the early 19th Century among those who found slavery distasteful but weren't ready or willing to do anything about it just then. Barely anyone except the wildest New England abolitionists were seriously talking about emancipation and integration.
Section 8: "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions
Of course, when the militia is suppressing insurrections it is under the command of the President. There is nothing in the Constitution to imply the president has fewer war powers to suppress an insurrection than to repel an invasion.
After Lousiana was captured by Federal troops, slaves were not freed.
The EP freed all LA slaves except those in the city of New Orleans and in 13 named parishes at the time under federal control.
Lincoln wanted it both ways: the Southerners were "states" when he wanted them to be, and a foreign power when he didn't.
As do CSA apologists. If the CSA was a foreign government, as it claimed and fought to uphold, it had no rights under the Constitution. The EP was fully valid as a means of injuring the foreign enemy. If the states were still part of the US, they were quite obviously in insurrection. Look, the Constitution is a very flexible document, but it isn't flexible enough to stretch around a civil war. Any attempt to do so results in a variety of legal fictions.
"war powers" - is that what Licoln exercised when he placed the entire state assembly of Maryland in prison in Fort McHenry?
Reference please. My research indicates that a grand total of 26 MD state legislators were imprisones at different times during the war, not the whole body. There was discussion of doing so within the government, but it wasn't carried out.
Galveston, Texas. June 19, 1865. General Gordon Granger lands with 2000 men and issues General Order Number 3, stating that, "in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."
Celebrated to this day as Juneteenth.
That’s an excellent analysis of Cleburne’s career and the career wall that he hit in 1864. Thank you!
Johnston was West Point. Bragg had been West Point. The corps commanders - Hardee, Hood, Hill, Lee, Stewart, Polk - were West Point. The majority of his division commander peers were West Point. Like the Union Army, rising above the division level without the West Point credentials was difficult.
It was crafted to free those slaves that Lincoln could legally free.
I didnt realize that Lee supported voluntary colonization. Lincoln also supported the colonization movement during his political career.
And Lincoln is generally painted as a racist because of it.
There were several hundred thousand examples who joined the Union army.
The "Emancipation Proclamation" was a political stunt. Nothing more.
Then it was a very effective one.
Only the Lost Causers who call themselves conservatives.
BTW, the South was only an "insurrection" in Northern minds.
And the minds of the rest of the world, since none of them ever recognized confederate independence.
They were advocating joining an armed rebellion currently being waged against the government. The term for that, I believe, is treason.
When Cleburnes body was removed from the Franklin Battlefield in 1866, his body went by rail South to Mussel Shoals, AL, and then West to Corinth where his body laid in State for a day for honors, and then resumed the trek to Helena.
I live within a mile or two from where Cleburne fell.
I go by there daily going up Columbia Pike into Franklin.
My boys know the history too, I make sure of it.