Nathan George "Shanks" Evans

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Nathan George "Shanks" Evans was born at Marion, South Carolina, February 3, 1824, and educated at Randolph-Macon College and at West Point, from which he was graduated in 1848. Following duty on the frontier as an officer of dragoons and cavalry, he resigned in 1861 to enter the service of the Confederacy. At First Manassas, Evans was in command of a small brigade on the extreme left of the line. He detected McDowell's turning movement in time to redeploy his troops and present a front to the enemy, which went far towards saving the day for the South. After Ball's Bluff he was promoted brigadier general as of October 21, 1861. He was assigned a command which, because of its ubiquity, was known as the "Tramp Brigade." Evans was present at Second Manassas, South Mountain, and Sharpsburg; with Joseph E. Johnston's army during the Vicksburg campaign, and also at the battle of Kinston, North Carolina. From early in 1863 he was in constant difficulties because of his deportment. Tried for intoxication and acquitted, he was subsequently tried for disobedience of orders and again acquitted. General Beauregard removed him from command for a long period, considering him incompetent, and his brigade inspection reports reflected unfavorably on him as well. His career in the last part of the war was obscure. Subsequently he became principal of a high school at Midway, Alabama, where he died on November 23, 1868. General Evans is buried in Cokesbury, South Carolina. General M. W. Gary was his brother-in-law.

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