Evander McNair was born near Laurel Hill, Richmond County, North Carolina, April 15, 1820. His parents removed the following year to Mississippi, and eventually settled in Simpson County. At the age of twenty-two McNair set up as a merchant in Jackson. During the Mexican War he was a member of Company E, 1st Mississippi Rifles, of which regiment Jefferson Davis was colonel. Removing to Washington, Arkansas, in 1856, McNair continued in the mercantile business, and in 1861 raised a battalion of seven companies of infantry. This was later recruited to the full strength of a regiment, was denominated the 4th Arkansas Infantry, and McNair was elected its colonel. With General Ben McCulloch he fought at Wilson's Creek and Elkhorn. Under the command of General Kirby Smith he took part in the battle of Richmond, Kentucky, where he is said to have been promoted brigadier general on the held (his commission, however, bears a later date—from November 4, 1862). He was at Murfreesboro, was later attached to Joseph E. Johnston's army in the effort to relieve Vicksburg, and was subsequently wounded at Chickamauga. Thereafter McNair's brigade was assigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department, where he took part in Price's "Missouri Raid." After the war the General moved from Arkansas to New Orleans; then to Magnolia, Mississippi; and ultimately to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he died, November 13, 1902, in the home of a son-in-law. He is buried in Magnolia.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.