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Bill Thayer

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[image ALT: A photograph of an old man with a long luxuriant beard. He is John H. Forney, a Confederate general, whose career is detailed on this webpage.]

Major-General John H. Forney

The preceding image, and the text that follows, are reproduced from (the report of the) Thirty-Fifth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 14th, 1904.

 p24  John H. Forney
No. 1557. Class of 1852.
Died, September 13, 1902, at Jacksonville, Ala., aged 73.

General John H. Forney, the subject of this sketch, was the son of Jacob and Sabina Swope Hoke Forney. He was born on August 12, 1829. In 1835 his parents moved to Jacksonville, Alabama, which place was his home up to the time of his death. He received his appointment to the U. S. Military Academy, entering on July 1, 1848, and graduating with the class of 1852, at which time he was brevetted Second Lieutenant Seventh Infantry. From the time of his graduation to the year of 1855 he served in garrison. In the year of 1855 he was appointed First Lieutenant Tenth Infantry when he was staff officer to Colonel Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Charles F. Smith on an exploring expedition to Pembina. In 1857 he commanded a Pioneer Corps with General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.A. S. Johnston in the Utah Campaign. On November 12, 1860, he went to the Military Academy as Assistant Instructor of Infantry Tactics, where he was on duty until January 23, 1861, at which time he resigned and joined the forces of the South. He went in the service as Colonel and Aide to the Governor of Alabama. In the same year he was appointed Colonel of Artillery and Inspector General to General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Bragg. He commanded as Colonel the Tenth Alabama, mustered for service June 4, 1861, commanding a Brigade composed of the Ninth and Tenth Alabama, Nineteenth Mississippi and Thirty-sixth Virginia Regiments in General Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Joe Johnston's Army. In 1862 he was made Brigadier-General commanding the Department of the Gulf, stationed at Mobile. Later in the same year he was promoted to the rank of Major General commanding a Division in the siege of Vicksburg; during the siege he held the center line from railroad to graveyard. After the exchange of prisoners he was ordered (July, 1864) to the Trans-Mississippi  p25 Department to discipline and bring east a division of troops. This division was composed of four large brigades concentrated at Hempstead, Texas, preparing to run the blockade from Galveston, Texas, to St. Mark's, Florida, when General Lee surrendered. The division was disbanded at Galveston in June.

After peace was established General Forney followed the quiet pursuits of farming and civil engineering, and death found him at his old home in Jacksonville where his early days had been spent.

General Forney leaves to mourn his loss a widow and five children, four daughters, and one son who is a Professor at the State University of Alabama.

General Forney married Miss Rutledge in 1863, great granddaughter of Arthur Middleton and Edward Rutledge, signers of the Declaration of Independence. The General thus facetiously described his courtship: "I met this young woman on a cadet furlough in 1850, and kept up the approaches for thirteen years, when the citadel finally yielded to a wounded Confederate Soldier."

General Forney was the last Major General sent to the field by the State of Alabama.


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Page updated: 30 Dec 10