Claudius Wistar Sears

Monument: Find-a-Grave

Claudius Wistar Sears, a native of Massachusetts, was born in Peru, November 8, 1817, and was graduated from West Point in 1841. He resigned the year following to become a teacher. After a short period as instructor at St. Thomas's Hall, Holly Springs, Mississippi, he served as professor of mathematics at the University of Louisiana (now Tulane) from 1845 to 1859. Meantime he married into a Southern family from Houston, Texas. Returning to St. Thomas's as president, he presided until 1861, when he enlisted in the 17th Mississippi Infantry and was elected captain of Company G. Later commissioned colonel of the 46th Mississippi, he served at Chickasaw Bayou against Sherman and at Port Gibson in May 1863. Captured and paroled at Vicksburg, he was not exchanged for several months. He returned to his command early in 1864 and was appointed brigadier general to rank from March 1. Joining the Army of Tennessee at Resaca, Georgia, in May, Sears participated in the Atlanta campaign until disabled by illness. He was subsequently with General S. G. French in the desperate fight at Allatoona and accompanied Hood into Tennessee. During the battle of Nashville, while observing the enemy through his glass, a shell killed his horse and carried away one of his legs. Taken to the rear, he was captured near Pulaski a few days later and was not paroled until June 23, 1865. The same year General Sears was elected to the chair of mathematics at the University of Mississippi, a post he continued to occupy until 1889. He died at Oxford, Mississippi, February 15, 1891, and is buried there.

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

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