John Wesley Frazer

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

John Wesley Frazer was born in Hardin County, Tennessee, January 6, 1827. After graduation from West Point in 1849, Frazer did routine garrison duty at various points, resigning his United States commission in March 1861. Appointed lieutenant colonel of the 8th Alabama Infantry, he soon resigned to assume the colonelcy of the 28th, which he led in the Kentucky campaign. He was appointed brigadier general on May 19, 1863, and was sent with three regiments of Georgia and North Carolina troops and a battery to oppose the Federal occupation of East Tennessee. After fortifying Cumberland Gap, Frazer learned that Knoxville had already been occupied by the Federal General Burnside and that General Buckner had been forced to retreat toward Chattanooga. He forthwith surrendered unconditionally to Burnside, an action which was severely criticized and which probably caused the rejection of his nomination as brigadier by the Senate. Apparently never paroled or exchanged, he was still a prisoner at Fort Warren on April 16, 1865, when he and fourteen other Confederate generals imprisoned there, wrote a letter to General Grant expressing their regret for the assassination of President Lincoln. For some years after the war General Frazer operated a plantation in Arkansas, later moving to New York City, where he prospered in business. He died there as the result of an accident, March 31, 1906, and is buried in Clifton Springs, New York.

Previous Page

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