Benjamin Huger

Major General

Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

Headstones: Find-a-Grave

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Benjamin Huger was born at Charleston, South Carolina, November 22, 1805, and was graduated from the U. S. Military Academy in the class of 1825. His career in the old army was most distinguished and included command of a number of United States arsenals, membership on the Ordnance Board, and the post of chief of ordnance under General Winfield Scott in Mexico, for which service he received the brevets of major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel. After the fall of Fort Sumter he resigned his commission to enter the service of the Confederacy, and was appointed brigadier general on June 17, 1861, and major general on October 7. General Huger soon demonstrated that his talents lay more in the staff than in the line. Placed in command of the department embracing Norfolk in May 1861, he believed himself too weak to withstand attack. Accordingly, he dismantled his fortifications, set fire to the Navy Yard, blew up the Merrimac, and evacuated the city in May 1862. Later he was in command of a division at Seven Pines and during the Seven Days battles, but his record of accomplishment left much to be desired; he was harshly censured, leading to an investigation in Congress. Relieved of field command on July 12, 1862, he was assigned as inspector of artillery and ordnance, his proper sphere. These duties he energetically and faithfully discharged until the close of the war, most of the time in the Trans-Mississippi Department. After the war he lived on a farm in Fauquier County, Virginia, and returned to Charleston shortly before his death, December 7, 1877. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.