Henry Hopkins Sibley

Brigadier General

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

Previous Page

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

Henry Hopkins Sibley was born at Natchitoches, Louisiana, May 25, 1816, and was graduated from West Point in the class of 1838. His service in the ante-bellum U. S. Army was extensive. It ranged from participation in the Seminole War of 1838-39 to duty in the Utah expedition against the Mormons. Brevetted for gallantry in Mexico, he resigned his commission on May 13, 1861, the same day he was promoted major of the 1st U. S. Dragoons. Three days later he was commissioned colonel in the Confederate Army, and on June 17, brigadier general. Sibley's only important Civil War service, during which his alleged predilection for the bottle was widely publicized, was as commander of the expedition designed to secure New Mexico to the Confederacy.  After the battles of Valverde and Glorieta Canon he was forced to retreat, since he could not subsist his command off the country. Under incredible hardships he reached El Paso in May 1862, and subsequently retired to San Antonio. Thereafter his career was beset with numerous misfortunes. Charges were twice preferred against him. Kirby Smith reported in March 1865 that he was without a command and not on duty. At the close of the war General Sibley went abroad, and from 1869 to 1873 was a general of artillery in the Egyptian Army. Subsequently returning to the United States, he lectured on his Egyptian experiences. He spent his last years in ill health and comparative poverty, and died at Fredericksburg, Virginia (August 23, 1886), where he is buried. His name is associated with the Sibley tent, his invention, which was much used during the first years of the war by both armies but was later discontinued.

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