Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/774

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CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

which followed were the subject of investigation, and while he was vindicated from certain charges made against him, he was transferred to command of cavalry. At the head of the force which he organized he defeated Grant's formidable invasion of Mississippi in December, 1862, by the surprise and capture of the garrison at Holly Springs, and the destruction of the stores accumulated. He formed a splendid cavalry command in Mississippi and west Tennessee, with such able lieutenants as Forrest, Martin, Jackson, Armstrong, Whitfield and Cosby. In March he assailed a force of the enemy at Thompson's Station, Tenn., capturing over 1,000 men. General Van Dorn was one of the brilliant figures of the early part of the war. As a commander of cavalry he was in his element. He was a man of small, lithe figure, elegant person, and a bravery and daring that were unsurpassed.

Major-General Edward Gary Walthall, of Mississippi, was born at Richmond, Va., April 4, 1831. Going with his family in childhood to Holly Springs, Miss., he received an academic education at that place, and then studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1852, and in the same year began the practice at Coffeeville. His ability as an attorney, early manifested in his career, resulted in his election as district attorney for the Tenth judicial district in 1856, and re-election, 1859. After the withdrawal of his State from the Union he promptly resigned this official position to enlist in the military service. He became a lieutenant in the Fifteenth Mississippi regiment of infantry, and was soon afterward elected lieutenant-colonel. In the spring of 1862 he was elected colonel of the Twenty-ninth regiment, and he was promoted brigadier-general in December, 1862, and major-general in June, 1864. His earliest services in the field were rendered in eastern Kentucky, which he entered under the brigade command of General Zollicoffer. At the battle of Fishing Creek, in January, 1862, Lieutenant-Colonel