Monday, 8 April 2013

Major General Lafayette McLaws

McLaws was born in Augusta, Georgia on January 15, 1821. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1842, placing 48th out of 56 cadets. While at Jefferson Barracks. Missouri, he married Emily Allison Taylor, niece of Zachary Taylor, making him a cousin-in-law of future Confederates Richard Taylor and Jefferson Davis.

Resigning as a U.S. Army captain at the start of the Civil War, McLaws was commissioned a major in the Confederate States Army. He was quickly promoted to colonel of the 10th Georgia Infantry regiment, then quickly again to brigadier general in brigade and division command in the Seven Days Battles. Then, on May 23 1862, to major general. He joined his childhood friend in Augusta and fellow West Point of '42 classmate, Maj. Gen James Longstreet’s First Corps in the Army of Northern Virginia as 1st Division commander and stayed with Longstreet for most of the war.

On the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 2, 1863, McLaws commanded the second division to step off in Longstreet's massive assault on the Union left flank. He achieved great success (at a high cost in lives) in the areas known as the Wheatfield and the Peach Orchard, but the army as a whole was unable to dislodge the Union forces from their positions on Cemetery Ridge. His division did not participate in Pickett’s Charge the next day, despite Longstreet's command of that assault.

After the war, McLaws worked in the insurance business, was a tax collector for the IRS, served as Savannah's postmaster in 1875-76, and was active in Confederate veterans' organizations. Despite his wartime differences with Longstreet, McLaws initially defended Longstreet in the post-war attempts by Jubal Early and others to smear his reputation. Just before his death, however, his opinion changed about the lost cause movement, and he began speaking out about Longstreet's failures at Gettysburg.

Lafayette McLaws died in Savannah on July 24, 1897 (aged 76) and is buried there in Laurel Grove Cemetery. He is the posthumous author of A Soldier's General:  The Civil War Letters of Major General Lafayette McLaws (2002).

The figure is from Redoubt, with a minor change regarding facial hair using Green Stuff.

This guy will be me on the table at the Gettysburg game in July!

1 comment:

  1. He looks great,look forward to see him lead some charges in July here