James Thadeus Holtzclaw

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James Thadeus Holtzclaw was born at McDonough, Henry County, Georgia, December 17, 1833. His parents were residents of Chambers County, Alabama; and he grew up in the latter community, obtaining his primary education at the Presbyterian high school. He received an appointment to West Point in 1853, but did not enter; instead, he took up the study of law in Montgomery, Alabama, where, after admission to the bar in 1855, he practiced his profession with the exception of the war years until his death. Entering Confederate service as a lieutenant of the Montgomery True Blues, he was in August 1861 appointed major of the 18th Alabama. He was shot through the lung at Shiloh, supposedly a mortal wound; however, he returned to duty in ninety days. He was promoted colonel and served for a time at Mobile. He subsequently took a gallant part in the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, commanding Clayton's brigade for a time in the latter campaign. During the Atlanta campaign Holtzclaw was promoted brigadier general from July 7, 1864, assigned to the permanent command of Clayton's brigade, and with it took part in Hood's campaign into Tennessee. In the course of the retreat from Nashville, his brigade acted for a time as rear guard of the army. Early in 1865 he was sent to Mobile where he assisted in the defense of the city, and was paroled at Meridian, Mississippi, in May. After the war General Holtzclaw was prominent in Democratic politics and, a few months before his death, was appointed to the Alabama railroad commission. He is buried in Montgomery, where he died on July 19, 1893.

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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.