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BRIGADIER GENERAL GIDEON J. PILLOW
Item #: CWB12145
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Brigadier-General Gideon Johnson Pillow was born in Williamson 
county, Tenn., June 8, 1806.  In 1827 he was graduated at the 
university of Nashville, after which he commenced the practice 
of law at Columbia and rapidly rose to prominence.

He was a delegate to the National Democratic convention of 
1844, and aided largely in securing the nomination of his 
neighbor, James K. Polk, for the presidency.  In July, 1846, 
he abandoned peaceful pursuits to accept a commission as 
brigadier-general of Tennessee volunteers in the Mexican war.

At first he served with Taylor in northern Mexico, but was 
transferred to Scott's command at the beginning of the siege 
of Vera Cruz.  In this siege he took an active part, and was 
appointed one of the American commissioners to receive the 
surrender of the city.  At Cerro Gordo he commanded the right 
wing, and in the impetuous charge received a severe wound.

On April 30, 1847, he was commissioned major-general.  He 
fought with great gallantry at Churubusco, Molino del Rey and 
Chapultepec, in which last affair he was a second time 
wounded.  A sharp difference between General Scott and himself 
led to a court-martial, requested by himself.  By the decision 
of this court he was fully acquitted of the charge of 
insubordination which Scott had brought against him.

After the close of the Mexican war he resumed the practice of 
law, and also engaged in planting.  In the great Southern 
convention held in Nashville in 1850, he took a conservative 
course and opposed extreme measures.

At the beginning of the war for Southern independence he was 
appointed, by Governor Harris, major-general in the 
provisional army of Tennessee, in which capacity he aided 
largely in the organization of the State forces.  On July 9, 
1861, he was commissioned brigadier-general of the provisional 
army of the Confederate States.  Being assigned to General 
Polk's department as second in command to that officer, he 
fought the battle of Belmont successfully against General 
Grant.

At Fort Donelson he was second in command to Brigadier-General 
Floyd, and handled his troops with skill and ability.  The 
gallant fighting of the Confederates was all in vain, for they 
found themselves hemmed in by superior numbers and had to 
surrender.  Floyd and Pillow turned over the command to 
Buckner, who surrendered the fort and garrison to General 
Grant.  Before the surrender, Floyd embarked his Virginia 
troops upon steamers and carried them off.  General Pillow and 
a portion of his staff crossed to the opposite side of the 
Cumberland and made their way to Clarksville.

At Decatur, Ala., General Pillow was relieved from duty.  He 
subsequently led a detachment of cavalry in the Southwest 
under Beauregard, and still later was made chief of conscripts 
in the Western department.

At the close of the war he found himself ruined in fortune and 
left, in advanced age, without other means of support than the 
earnings of his professional labors.

During the war he had ordered the seizure of the coal of a 
Pittsburg company.  The coal had been sold and the proceeds 
turned over to the State, and everything else received for the 
property of the company had been applied to military purposes.  
The general was sued by the Pittsburg company for $125,000 
damages, which resulted in a judgment against him for $38,500.
Although a new trial was granted, the general's claims 
as a belligerent were not allowed.  His State could not come 
to his relief.  He was compelled to go into bankruptcy.  
General Pillow said that the loss of his property gave him 
"less anguish than the humiliation of bankruptcy."

He attempted the cultivation of his farm in Maury county and 
of his plantation in Arkansas, but labored under many 
discouraging circumstances.  He died in Lee county, Ark., 
October 6, 1878.
Shipping Weight: 0.45 lb
 $225.00 USD