Confederate Combat Commander: The Remarkable Life of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan, Jr.

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Univ. of Tennessee Press, Aug 15, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 328 pages
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Known as one of the most aggressive Confederate officers in the Western Theater, Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr. is legendary for having had eight horses shot out from under him in battle—more than any other infantry commander, Union or Confederate. Yet despite the exceptional bravery demonstrated by his dubious feat, Vaughan remains a largely overlooked Civil War leader.
    In Confederate Combat Commander, Lawrence K. Peterson explores the life of this unheralded yet important rebel officer before, during, and after his military service. A graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Vaughan initially commanded the Thirteenth Tennessee Infantry Regiment, and later Vaughan’s Brigade.  He served in the hard-fought battles of the western area of operations in such key confrontations as Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and the Atlanta Campaign.
    Tracing Vaughan’s progress through the war and describing his promotion to general after his commanding officer was mortally wounded, Peterson describes the rise and development of an exemplary military career, and a devoted fighting leader. Although Vaughan was beloved by his troops and roundly praised at the time—in fact, negative criticism of his orders, battlefield decisions, or personality cannot be found in official records, newspaper articles, or the diaries of his men—Vaughan nevertheless served in the much-maligned Army of Tennessee. This book thus assesses what responsibility—if any—Vaughan bore for Confederate failures in the West.
    While biographies of top-ranking Civil War generals are common, the stories of lower-level senior officers such as Vaughan are seldom told. This volume provides rare insight into the regimental and brigade-level activities of Civil War commanders and their units, drawing on a rich array of privately held family histories, including two written by the general himself.

Lawrence K. Peterson, a retired airline pilot, worked as a National Park Service ranger and USAF officer. He is the great-great grandson of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr.

  

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Contents

1 Offering Myself as a Candidate
1
2 No Stone or Mineral
15
3 Go with Your People
29
4 On His Mettle
43
5 We Can Take It
57
6 The Most Complete Victory
79
7 Change Front Forward on First Company
99
8 Who Has Those Colors?
113
14 Bravest and Noblest Wearer of the Gray
209
Appendix A Outline of the Life of Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr Brigadier General CSA
221
Appendix B Roster of VMI Graduates Class of 1851
223
Appendix C Members of the Dixie Rifles Company E 13th Tennessee
225
Appendix D Vaughans Commands in Battle
231
Appendix E The Famous Snowball Battle
237
Appendix F Vaughans Description of Losing His Leg
243
Appendix G Vaughans Brigade after His Wounding
247

9 Let the Appointment Be Made
133
10 To What Command Do They Belong?
155
11 More Than Mortals Could Stand
169
12 Have Never Seen It Since
181
13 Killed ThirtyTwo Hogs
193
Appendix H The Marker at Dallas Georgia
255
Notes
259
Bibliography
297
Index
313
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Lawrence K. Peterson, a retired airline pilot, worked as a National Park Service ranger and USAF officer. He is the great-great grandson of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr.

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