Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/160

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152 Southern Historical Society Papers.

With brief exceptions, Cleburne served under my command dur- ing his military career. He succeeded first to the brigade, and then to the division, which I had previously commanded, and it is to me a grateful recollection that circumstances enabled me to further his advancement to those important trusts. From personal knowledge, therefore, gained in an intercourse and observation extending through a period of nearly four years, I can give you an outline sketch of Cleburne' s character and services.

Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was an Irishman by birth, a Southerner by adoption and residence, a lawyer by profession; a soldier in the British army, by accident, in his youth, and a soldier in the Southern armies, from patriotism and conviction of duty, in his manhood. Upon coming to the United States he located in Helena, Ark. r where he studied and practiced law.

In that profession he had, previous to the great struggle, formed a copartnership with General T. C. Hindman. His standing as a lawyer was high, as indicated by this association with a gentleman distinguished as an orator and advocate.

It was at this period of life that, in the unorganized and turbulent condition of society, incident to a newly-settled country, he estab- lished a reputation for courage and firmness which was afterwards approved by a still more trying ordeal. In the commencement of the war for Southern independence, he enlistled as a private. He was subsequently made captain of his company, and shortly after he was elected and commissioned colonel of his regiment. Thus from one grade to another he gradually rose to the high rank he held when he fell. It is but some praise to say there was no truer patriot, no more courageous soldier, nor, of his rank, more able commander in the Southern armies, and it is not too much to add that his fall was a greater loss to the cause he espoused than that of any other Confederate leader after Stonewall Jackson. In the camp of the army which Albert Sydney Johnston assembled at Bowling Green, Ky., in the autumn of 1861, Cleburne had an opportunity in the drill and organization of the raw troops, of which that army was then composed, of proving his qualifications as a disciplinarian and commander. His natural abilities in this respect had probably been fostered by his early tuition in the British army, and upon his becom- ing a soldier a second time, were perfected by unremitting study and labor. These qualities secured his promotion to brigadier- general. In April, 1862, Albert Sydney Johnston concentrated his forces at Corinth, Miss., to attack General Grant, who had landed