John Bordenave Villepigue

Monument: Find-a-Grave

John Bordenave Villepigue, a South Carolina native of French descent, was born at Camden, July 2, 1830, and was graduated from West Point in the class of 1854. His career in the old army was mainly spent with the 2nd Dragoons in Kansas, Nebraska, and Utah. Resigning on March 31, 1861, he was first appointed a captain of artillery in the Regular Confederate service, and shortly thereafter colonel of the 36th Georgia Infantry, Provisional Army. Severely wounded while commanding the defense of Fort McRee in Pensacola harbor, he was much eulogized by General Braxton Bragg, of whom he seems to have been an especial favorite, and on whose staff he served for a time as chief of engineers and artillery. He then commanded at Pensacola and later at Mobile before being ordered to join Bragg at Corinth, with rank of brigadier general from March 13, 1862. Since General Beauregard deemed him "the most energetic young officer available," he was assigned to command at Fort Pillow on the Mississippi, where he conducted a stubborn and skillful defense against greatly superior Federal land and naval forces. Finally ordered to retire, he blew up his fortifications and brought off his men. He afterwards commanded a brigade under General Van Dorn at Corinth and was again commended for efficient performance. Unfortunately for the Confederacy, General Villepigue soon after fell a victim to "fever," and died at Port Hudson, Louisiana, on November 9, 1862. He is buried in the town of his birth.

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

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