March 16th is Patrick Cleburne’s birthday. Born in 1828, this Irishman served in the 41st Regiment of Foot in the British Army before managing to buy his way out and emigrating to the United States. He arrived in the “New World” in 1849 and became a U.S. citizen six years later.
During the Civil War, Cleburne fought for the Confederacy in the Western Theater, starting as the colonel of the 15th Arkansas and rapidly promoting to brigadier general and then major general by the end of 1862. Early in 1864, he brought forward a plan in the Army of Tennessee to emancipate, arm, and enlist enslaved men; none of the other army commanders acted or endorsed Cleburne’s idea and other Confederate officials ignored it at the time as well. Nicknamed “Stonewall of the West,” his battle list is lengthy and includes: Shiloh, Richmond (Kentucky), Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Dalton, Tunnel Hill, Resaca, Pickett’s Mill, Ringgold, Kennesaw, and Franklin. Cleburne was killed in action at the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864.
Here are a few posts from the ECW Archives about Patrick Cleburne and battles where he was involved: