John Clifford Pemberton

Lieutenant Colonel

Reference: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

John Clifford Pemberton was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 10, 1814, and was graduated in the class of 1837 at West Point. He won two brevets for gallantry in Mexico. In 1848 he married Martha Thompson of Norfolk, Virginia, a connection which no doubt contributed largely to his decision to resign from the old army on April 24, 1861. His early Confederate service as commander of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida was hardly such as to warrant his rapid promotion from brigadier general (June 17, 1861) to major general ranking from January 14, 1862, and to lieutenant general ranking from October 10, 1862. At this juncture he was assigned to the command of the Department of Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana, an area which embraced the all-important stronghold of Vicksburg. He was hampered by conflicting orders at the outset, and was finally compelled after a stubborn defense to capitulate on July 4, 1863. No further duty was found for him commensurate with his rank. He resigned his commission of lieutenant general in 1864, and was appointed by President Davis a lieutenant colonel of artillery, in which capacity he served faithfully until the end of the war. He subsequently lived on a farm near Warrenton, Virginia. Later he returned to Pennsylvania, where he died on July 13, 1881, at Penllyn. He was buried in Philadelphia. Despite much contemporary vilification of him because of his Northern birth, General Pemberton's complete loyalty to the Confederate cause cannot be questioned.

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