Christopher Haynes Mott

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Christopher Haynes Mott, brigadier general of Mississippi state troops in 1861, was born on June 22, 1826, in Livingston County, Kentucky, the son of Randolph Mott. While he was still a boy the family moved to Holly Springs, Mississippi, where the father ran an inn and served as town selectman. Mott received his education at St. Thomas' Hall in Holly Springs and Transylvania University in Kentucky. During the Mexican War Mott was elected first lieutenant of Company I of the 1st Mississippi Rifles, and was later appointed regimental commissary. At the Battle of Buena Vista Mott's valor was noticed by the regiment's commander, Jefferson Davis. Returning to Holly Springs after the war, Mott studied law under Roger Barton, the dean of northern Mississippi lawyers, and was admitted to the bar. In 1850 he formed a successful law partnership with his close friend L. Q. C. Lamar, later justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1850 and 1851 Mott, "a worthy Democrat and a true man," represented Marshall County in the state legislature. He was later elected probate judge and in 1858 was appointed a special U.S. commissioner to California.

On January 23, 1861, the Mississippi Secession Convention elected Mott one of four brigadier generals in the Mississippi state army and put him in charge of the 4th Brigade (the first and second military districts, comprising ten counties in northeast Mississippi). He soon resigned this position to raise the 19th Mississippi. On June 11, 1861, Mott was commissioned colonel of the 19th, the first regiment from Mississippi that enlisted for the war. The 19th was sent to Virginia that summer, arriving in Richmond on June 7, 1861. In the fall of 1861 the 19th joined the main Confederate army in northern Virginia and spent the remainder of the year in camp. In the regiment's first action at the May 5, 1862, Battle of Williamsburg Mott, "highly esteemed and brave,. . . fell, shot through the body while cheering on his men" during a bloody attack.' General James Longstreet, his division commander, in his post-battle report mourned the loss of "the gallant Mott," an "accomplished soldier, model gentleman, and devoted patriot." First buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, in 1867 his remains were reinterred in Hill Crest Cemetery in Holly Springs. Mott had been recommended for promotion to general by army commander General Joseph E. Johnston (who regarded Mott as one of only six colonels in his army "fully competent to command brigades"), and would have received the promotion had he lived.

Mott's rank of general in Mississippi's state army qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.

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Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.