Lafayette McLaws

Major General

Monument: Find-a-Grave

Previous Page

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

Lafayette McLaws, a nephew by marriage of Zachary Taylor, was born at Augusta, Georgia, January 15, 1821. He was graduated from West Point in the class of 1842 with his future corps commander, James Longstreet. McLaws' Mexican War record was not so distinguished as to win him brevet promotions. He resigned from the United States Army on March 23, 1861, and entered the Confederate Army as colonel of the 10th Georgia Infantry. Promoted brigadier general on September 25, 1861, and major general on May 23, 1862, for his services during the early part of the Peninsular campaign, he performed capably as a division commander in the 1st Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. During the Knoxville campaign, however, he was relieved by Longstreet for alleged failure to make proper preparation for and "for lack of confidence in" the unsuccessful assault on Fort Sanders. Exonerated by President Davis, who refused to order a court, McLaws was restored to his command; but after an acrimonious controversy, during which Longstreet threatened to resign, McLaws was assigned to command in Georgia. He subsequently served under Joseph E. Johnston and then surrendered with him at Greensboro, North Carolina. General McLaws then engaged in the insurance business in Augusta, and was collector of internal revenue and postmaster at Savannah in 1875 and 1876. He died in Savannah, July 24, 1897, and is buried there. In justice to General McLaws it should be said that his tactical dispositions were usually sound and not infrequently the object of commendation by his superiors, including Longstreet himself.

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