James Patrick Major

Brigadier General

Mausoleum: 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

James Patrick Major, a native of Fayette, Missouri, was born May 14, 1836. He won an appointment to West Point in 1852, and was graduated four years later. After a year at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, he served with the famous 2nd Cavalry on the Texas Frontier, where in one engagement with Indians he personally accounted for three "hostiles." At this time he married a sister-in-law of General Thomas Green, then clerk of the Texas supreme court. He resigned from the U. S. Army on March 21, 1861, and his first Confederate service was on the staffs of Generals Van Dorn and Twiggs. In August 1861 he took part in the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, as lieutenant colonel of a Missouri State Guard regiment. As acting chief of artillery to Van Dorn he aided in repulsing the Federal fleet at Vicksburg in 1862. Thereafter, in common with many of the capable officers in the Trans-Mississippi Department, his service was mainly distinguished by participation in the Red River campaign, during which he fought commendably at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. Upon the recommendation of General Richard Taylor he had meantime been appointed brigadier general to rank from July 21, 1863. The end of the war found him directing a brigade of cavalry in John A. Wharton's command. After his parole at New Iberia, Louisiana, June 11, 1865, General Major lived in France for a time and then engaged in planting both in Louisiana and Texas. He died at Austin, Texas, May 7, 1877. By his second marriage he became a brother-in-law of General Paul O. Hebert of Louisiana, and is buried in the tomb of his father-in-law, John Andrews, in Donaldsonville, Louisiana.

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