[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.
[decorative delimiter]

The text that follows is reproduced from (the report of the) Twenty-Ninth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 9th, 1898.

 p10  La Fayette McLaws
No. 1158. Class of 1842.
Died, July 24, 1897, at Savannah, Ga., aged 76.

Major General La Fayette McLaws was seventy-six years old, and one of the most interesting figures in the southern confederacy. Born in Augusta, Ga., of Scotch and French Huguenot stock, he received his earliest education at home, and was then sent to the University of Virginia. He remained only one year in that institution and received an appointment to a cadet­ship at West Point, whence he was graduated in 1842.

He first did military duty in the Indian Territory, but when hostilities between the United States and Mexico commenced he joined the Army of Occupation at Corpus Christi, under command of General Taylor. He was at Fort Brown and the famous siege of Monterey, and witnessed the bombardment and surrender of Vera Cruz under General Scott.

His health by this time being seriously impaired, he returned to the United States on recruiting duty, and shortly after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was appointed Assistant Adjutant General of the Department of New Mexico, serving in that capacity for two years. In 1851 he was promoted to a Captaincy, and served under Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Albert Sidney Johnston in the expedition of 1858 against the Mormons. His next command was against the Navajo Indians, 1859‑60, during which he attained distinction for personal bravery and meritorious service.

On the secession of his State from the Union, Captain McLaws resigned his commission and offered his services to the Confederacy. He was appointed Colonel of the Tenth Georgia Regiment, and on September 25, 1861, was commissioned as a Brigadier General. His gallantry in an action near Lee's Mill and the skill with which he led his command to Richmond after the battle of Williamsburg, brought him to the attention of  p11 General Johnston, at whose recommendation he was made a Major General, May 23, 1862.

His division, which consisted of Kershaw's and Semmes's brigades, was engaged in the battles of Savage Station and Malvern Hill, and when the Confederate army started in pursuit of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Pope it was left, with two other divisions, to watch the enemy at Harrison's Landing. Soon afterward he re-entered Maryland and rejoined the army.

General McLaws was placed in command of a corps and ordered to march on Harper's Ferry and capture Maryland Heights. He ordered a road built up the side of the mountain, by which cannon were got to the summit, and when they opened fire Harper's Ferry at once surrendered. He allowed his troops, who had been for sixty hours under fire and without water at Elk Ridge, only a few hours' rest at Harper's Ferry, and then marched all night. He reached Sharpsburg just as the troops of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Jackson and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Hood were retreating in disorder, and, driving back the federal troops, restored the confederate line.

At Fredericksburg he posted his men along the bank of the Rappahannock and on Marye's Hill, where from a sunken road, they drove back the federal troops. At Gettysburg his division formed part of General James Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Longstreet's corps, which assaulted and repulsed General Daniel E. Sickle's corps and other troops in the second day's fight. At the siege of Knoxville he reluctantly carried out General Longstreet's order to assault Fort Sanders, and deserted from the attack when he saw that success was impossible. He was summoned before a court martial, but his conduct was justified and his honor vindicated.

General McLaws took part in many other engagements and served until the surrender.

After the close of the war General McLaws engaged in business. He was subsequently appointed Collector of Internal Revenue at Savannah, Ga., in 1875, and Postmaster of that city in 1876. In 1886 he made a tour, during which he gave a series of lectures on "The Maryland Campaign."

N. Y. Times.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 31 Oct 13