States Rights Gist


States Rights Gist was born in Union District, South Carolina, on September 3, 1831. After obtaining his early education at neighborhood schools and at a preparatory school in Winnsboro, he graduated from South Carolina College in 1852, and from Harvard University law school two years later. Returning to Union, he commenced the practice of law and served in the South Carolina militia, of which he became a brigadier in 1859, and adjutant and inspector general of the state after secession. He was present at First Manassas as volunteer aide to General Barnard E. Bee, and succeeded to the command after the latter's death. On March 20, 1862 he was appointed brigadier general in the Provisional Confederate Army, and ordered to report to General Pemberton in South Carolina. Later he was sent to the Vicksburg area, where he served with Joseph E. Johnston in the campaign intended for the relief of the Mississippi fortress. He was then assigned to the Army of Tennessee. With his brigade, a part of W H. T. Walker's division, he fought gallantly at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and in the Atlanta campaign. While attached to John C. Brown's division of Cheatham's corps at the battle of Franklin, during Hood's invasion of Tennessee, he was instantly killed while leading his men against the Federal breastworks, November 30, 1864. First buried in a private cemetery in Franklin, General Gist's remains now lie in Trinity Episcopal Churchyard, Columbia, South Carolina.

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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.