Harry Thompson Hays

Major General

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.  http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html

Harry Thompson Hays was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, April 14, 1820. He was brought up by an uncle in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, because of the early death of both of his parents. He was graduated from St. Mary's College in Baltimore and studied law in that city. He began the practice of his profession in New Orleans, where he soon became prominent as an advocate and politician. After distinguished service in the Mexican War, he was active in the Whig party during the 1850's and was a Presidential Elector on the Scott ticket in 1852. Entering the Confederate Army as colonel of the 7th Louisiana Infantry, he fought at First Manassas and in Jackson's Valley campaign of 1862. He was severely wounded at Port Republic. Returning to duty, he was commissioned brigadier general on July 25, 1862. Hays rendered outstanding service at Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and in the beginning of the Wilderness campaign. Again badly wounded at Spotsylvania, he was transferred upon his recovery to the Trans-Mississippi, where in May 1865, after the Confederacy had virtually ceased to exist, he was "assigned to duty" as a major general by General Kirby Smith, and was paroled as such. Returning to New Orleans, he was appointed sheriff of Orleans Parish in 1866, but was removed from office by General Sheridan. Thereafter he practiced law until his death, from Bright's disease, August 21, 1876. General Hays is buried in Washington Avenue Cemetery, New Orleans.

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