Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/460

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

priation of China by the European powers. He would give the United States an effective voice in diplomacy wherever, to the uttermost parts of the earth, an American right or an American interest is involved, and, if necessary, support diplomacy even by arms. Because of his aggressive Americanism, no less than because of his learning and ability, President Harrison appointed him one of the two American members of the Bering sea arbitration tribunal that met in Paris in 1893.

Brigadier-General Edward Asbury O'Neal was born in Madison county, Ala., in 1818. His father, Edward O'Neal, was a native of Ireland, and his mother was Miss Rebecca Wheat, a member of one of the Huguenot families of South Carolina. They moved to Alabama and settled in Madison county soon after their marriage. When Edward Asbury was but three months old his father died. His mother was a lady of much force of character and managed her affairs well, giving to both her boys, Basil and Edward, a good education, and equipping them well for the battle of life. Edward graduated at LaGrange college with the first honors of his class in 1836. He read law in the office of Hon, James W. McClung, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and located at Florence. In 1841 he was elected solicitor of the Fourth judicial circuit and served four years. From that time forward, for many years, he devoted himself almost exclusively to the study of law. He was a strong believer in the right and advisability of secession. When that policy was adopted and resulted in war, he proved his faith by works, and was prompt to take up arms to make it a success. He raised a company for the Ninth Alabama, of which regiment he was elected major, and commissioned June 26, 1861. In the fall he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel (October 21, 1861). He received another promotion in March, 1862, as colonel of the Twenty-sixth Alabama, when in Richmond. The com-