James Holt Clanton

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James Holt Clanton was born January 8, 1827, in Columbia County, Georgia; the family removed to Alabama in 1835. After service in the Mexican War, he studied law and was admitted to the bar. He served in the Alabama legislature, and was an Elector on the Presidential ticket of Bell and Everett in 1860. An original opponent of secession, he nevertheless promptly went into the Confederate Army when the die was cast, and was elected colonel of the 1st Alabama Cavalry in the fall of 1861. He opened the battle of Shiloh, was present at Farmington and Booneville, and after raising three more regiments, was promoted brigadier general to rank from November 16, 1863. During the balance of the war he participated in the Atlanta campaign; was active in the Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana; and was badly wounded at Bluff Spring, Florida, in March 1865, being paroled at Mobile on May 25, 1865, presumably while recovering from his wound. Resuming his law practice in 1866, Clanton again became a leader in the Democratic party of Alabama. He was assassinated at Knoxville, Tennessee, September 27, 1871, by a drunken ex-Federal officer (the son of a former Union Congressman from East Tennessee), who provoked a quarrel with him. He is buried in Montgomery, Alabama.

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