Samuel J. Gholson

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Samuel Jameson Gholson
Samuel J. Gholson.jpg
Samuel J. Gholson
Born(1808-05-19)May 19, 1808
Richmond, Kentucky
DiedOctober 16, 1883(1883-10-16) (aged 75)
Aberdeen, Mississippi
Place of burial
Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery, Aberdeen, Mississippi
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Service/branch Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–1865
Rank Brigadier General
Unit Army of Tennessee
Commands heldGholson's Brigade (cavalry)
Battles/wars American Civil War
Other workAttorney, judge, U.S. Congressman

Samuel Jameson Gholson (May 19, 1808 – October 16, 1883) was a U.S. Representative from Mississippi, as well as a Confederate general during the American Civil War. He also served as a United States federal judge and a multiple-term member of the Mississippi House of Representatives.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States.

Mississippi State of the United States of America

Mississippi is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Mississippi is the 32nd most extensive and 34th most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Alabama to the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana to the south, and Arkansas and Louisiana to the west. The state's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Jackson, with a population of approximately 167,000 people, is both the state's capital and largest city.

Confederate States Army Army of the Confederate States

The Confederate States Army (C.S.A.) was the military land force of the Confederate States of America (Confederacy) during the American Civil War (1861–1865), fighting against the United States forces. On February 28, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress established a provisional volunteer army and gave control over military operations and authority for mustering state forces and volunteers to the newly chosen Confederate president, Jefferson Davis. Davis was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, and colonel of a volunteer regiment during the Mexican–American War. He had also been a United States Senator from Mississippi and U.S. Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce. On March 1, 1861, on behalf of the Confederate government, Davis assumed control of the military situation at Charleston, South Carolina, where South Carolina state militia besieged Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, held by a small U.S. Army garrison. By March 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress expanded the provisional forces and established a more permanent Confederate States Army.

Contents

Early life and career

Born near Richmond, Kentucky, Gholson moved with his father to Franklin County, Alabama, in 1817. He attended the common schools and later read law. He was admitted to the bar at Russellville, Alabama, in 1829. He moved to Athens, Mississippi, and commenced the practice of law in 1830. He served as member of the state House of Representatives in 1835, 1836, and 1839.

Richmond, Kentucky City in Kentucky, United States

Richmond is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Madison County, Kentucky, United States. It is named after Richmond, Virginia, and is the home of Eastern Kentucky University. The population was 33,533 in 2015. Richmond is the third-largest city in the Bluegrass region and the state's sixth-largest city. Richmond serves as the center for work and shopping for south-central Kentucky. Richmond is the principal city of the Richmond–Berea Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Madison and Rockcastle counties.

Franklin County, Alabama County in the United States

Franklin County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 31,704. Its county seat is Russellville. Its name is in honor of Benjamin Franklin, famous statesman, scientist, and printer. It is a dry county, although the city of Russellville is wet.

Russellville, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Russellville is a city in Franklin County in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,830, up from 8,971 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Franklin County.

Gholson was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat to the Twenty-fourth U.S. Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of David Dickson and served from December 1, 1836, to March 3, 1837. His often stormy tenure was marked by a severe dispute with Henry A. Wise of Virginia that nearly resulted in a duel. Gholson presented credentials as a Democratic member-elect to the Twenty-fifth Congress and served from July 18, 1837, until February 5, 1838, when the seat was declared vacant. He was later replaced by Thomas J. Word. [1]

David Dickson was a U.S. Representative from Mississippi.

Henry A. Wise United States Congressman and governor of Virginia

Henry Alexander Wise was an American lawyer and politician from Virginia. He was a U.S. Representative and Governor of Virginia, and US Minister to Brazil. During the American Civil War, he was a general in the Confederate States Army. He was the father of Richard Alsop Wise and John Sergeant Wise, who both served as U.S. Representatives.

Virginia State of the United States of America

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U.S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2017 is over 8.4 million.

On February 9, 1839, Gholson was nominated by President Martin Van Buren to a jointly-held seat on both the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi, both vacated by the resignation of George Adams. Gholson was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 1839, and received his commission the same day. While on the bench, he was a Lieutenant in the Mississippi State Militia in 1846. He served on the bench until his resignation on January 10, 1861, when Mississippi seceded from the Union. A fiery advocate of states' rights, he served as member of the state secession convention in 1861 and voted for the ordinance of secession.

Martin Van Buren 8th president of the United States

Martin Van Buren was an American statesman who served as the eighth president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. He was the first president born after the independence of the United States from the British Empire. A founder of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the ninth governor of New York, the tenth United States secretary of state, and the eighth vice president of the United States. He won the 1836 presidential election with the endorsement of popular outgoing President Andrew Jackson and the organizational strength of the Democratic Party. He lost his 1840 reelection bid to Whig Party nominee William Henry Harrison, due in part to the poor economic conditions of the Panic of 1837. Later in his life, Van Buren emerged as an elder statesman and important anti-slavery leader, who led the Free Soil Party ticket in the 1848 presidential election.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi is a federal court in the Fifth Circuit with facilities in Aberdeen, Ackerman, Clarksdale, Cleveland, Corinth, Greenville, and Oxford.

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi is a federal court in the Fifth Circuit with facilities in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Natchez, Meridian, and Jackson.

Civil War service

With the subsequent outbreak of war, Gholson enlisted as a private in the Monroe Volunteers of Monroe County, Mississippi, (which became Company I, 14th Mississippi Infantry). He served from 1861 until 1863 in the state troops, rising successively through the ranks to captain, colonel, and then to brigadier general. During the Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee, he was badly wounded by a bullet that passed through his right lung. He was among the thousands of troops who were surrendered to the Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant. After his exchange, Gholson returned to active duty and fought at Iuka and then at Corinth, both in Mississippi.

A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank.

Monroe County, Mississippi County in the United States

Monroe County is a county on the northeast border of the U.S. state of Mississippi next to Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,989. Its county seat is Aberdeen.

In the United States uniformed services, captain is a commissioned-officer rank. In keeping with the traditions of the militaries of most nations, the rank varies between the services, being a senior rank in the naval services and a junior rank in the ground and air forces.

By mid-1863, Gholson held the rank of major general of Mississippi State Troops. He was awarded the grade of brigadier general in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States to rank from May 6, 1864. He was placed in command of a brigade of cavalry attached to the division of Brig. Gen. James Chalmers under Maj. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest. While serving in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, Gholson was severely wounded in a fight with Union cavalry on December 27, 1864, at Egypt, Mississippi. His left arm had to be amputated, ending his combat duty for the duration of the war.

Brigade Military formation size designation, typically of 3-6 battalions

A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of three to six battalions plus supporting elements. It is roughly equivalent to an enlarged or reinforced regiment. Two or more brigades may constitute a division.

Cavalry soldiers or warriors fighting from horseback

Cavalry or horsemen are soldiers or warriors who fight mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the most mobile of the combat arms. An individual soldier in the cavalry is known by a number of designations such as cavalryman, horseman, dragoon, or trooper. The designation of cavalry was not usually given to any military forces that used other animals, such as camels, mules or elephants. Infantry who moved on horseback, but dismounted to fight on foot, were known in the 17th and early 18th centuries as dragoons, a class of mounted infantry which later evolved into cavalry proper while retaining their historic title.

Division (military) large military unit or formation

A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 8,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength.

Postbellum career

After the war, Gholson was again a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1865, 1866, and 1878, serving as Speaker of the House from 1865 to 1867. He opposed the government's controversial Reconstruction policies, a political move that eventually cost him his position. After leaving the state legislature, he continued the practice of law in Aberdeen, Mississippi.

Samuel J. Gholson died in Aberdeen on October 16, 1883, and was interred in the town's Odd Fellows Cemetery. [2]

See also

Notes

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References

Legal offices
Preceded by
George Adams
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
1839–1861
Succeeded by
Robert Andrews Hill
Preceded by
George Adams
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
1839–1861
Succeeded by
Robert Andrews Hill
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Dickson
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's at-large congressional district

December 1, 1836 March 3, 1837
Succeeded by
Vacant
Preceded by
Vacant
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's at-large congressional district

July 18, 1837 February 5, 1838
Succeeded by
Vacant