John Tyler Morgan

Monument: Find-a-Grave

John Tyler Morgan was born in Athens, Tennessee, June 20, 1824. He was educated by his mother and in the country schools of Calhoun County, Alabama, where the family moved in his ninth year. He studied law in Tuskegee, Alabama, and was admitted to the bar in 1845; in 1855 he moved to Selma. A Breckinridge Elector in 1860 and a member of the Alabama secession convention, he enlisted as a private in the Cahaba Rifles in 1861, at the age of thirty-seven. He soon rose to major and lieutenant colonel of the 5th Alabama Infantry, of which Robert E. Rodes was colonel. He resigned in 1862, and recruited the 51st Alabama Partisan Rangers, of which he became colonel. He declined a promotion to command Rodes' old brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia after the latter's elevation to major general, but he was later appointed its brigadier to rank from November 16, 1863. Morgan led his two different regiments and his brigade at such widely separated helds as First Manassas, Murfreesboro, and Chickamauga; and served under Generals Beauregard, Longstreet, Forrest, and Wheeler. His last held service was the harassment of Sherman's column en route from Atlanta to Savannah. At the close of the war he was attempting to recruit Negro troops in Mississippi. In 1876, after resuming the practice of law, and becoming a standard-bearer in the fight for white supremacy, General Morgan was elected to the United States Senate from Alabama, where he served until his death at Washington, June 11, 1907. His long tenure in the Senate was particularly marked by an uninterrupted effort to secure a canal route from the Atlantic to the Pacific through Central America. He felt that such a canal would enable Southern trade to compete in Pacific markets. He is buried in Selma, Alabama.

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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