John Wilkins Whitfield

Monument: Find-a-Grave

John Wilkins Whitfield was born March 11, 1818, in Franklin, Tennessee, and educated in the local schools. During the Mexican War he served as captain of the 1st, and lieutenant colonel of the 2nd, Tennessee Infantry. About 1853 he moved to Independence, Missouri, and for the next several years was an Indian agent in Missouri and Arkansas. Upon the establishment of Kansas Territory, he was elected its delegate to Congress, serving until 1857. Afterwards he was register of the land office at Doniphan, Kansas, until 1861. Whitfield entered the Confederate Army as major of the 4th Battalion Texas Cavalry. Later he became colonel of the 27th regiment, and fought at Pea Ridge (Elkhorn) in 1862, and at the battle of Iuka under General Sterling Price, where he was painfully wounded. Attached to General Earl Van Dorn's command in the spring of 1863, he was commissioned brigadier general on May 9. He was under Joseph E. Johnston in the Vicksburg campaign of that year, and later commanded a brigade under General W. H. Jackson in Mississippi. Apparently without a command at the end of the war, General Whitfield was paroled at Columbus, Texas, on June 29, 1865. Thereafter he made his home in Lavaca County, Texas, which he represented in the state legislature. He died near Hallettsville, October 27, 1879, and is buried in Hallettsville Cemetery.

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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