Zebulon York

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

Zebulon York, a native of Avon, Franklin County, Maine, was born October 10, 1819. He was educated at Wesleyan Seminary at Kent's Hill, Maine; at Transylvania University, Kentucky; and at the University of Louisiana (now Tulane), from which he was graduated in law. He then went to Vidalia, Louisiana, where he soon became the leading attorney of the parish and accumulated a large fortune in cotton planting. At the outbreak of the Civil War he and his partner were reputed to own six plantations, with 1,700 slaves and an annual production of 4,500 bales; they were also said to pay the largest realty taxes in the state. Organizing a company of the 14th Louisiana Infantry, York was successively elected its major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel; and fought with the regiment on the Peninsula and throughout the Seven Days battles. After the campaigns of Second Manassas, Maryland, and Fredericksburg, he was on recruiting duty in Louisiana during the Chancellorsville campaign, but again led his regiment at Gettysburg. During the Virginia campaign of 1864 he was promoted brigadier general from May 31, 1864, and was given command of the remnant of Hays' and Stafford's old Louisiana brigades. Gallantly leading his troops in the Shenandoah Valley during that summer and autumn, his left arm was so badly shattered by a shell at the battle of Winchester on September 19 as to necessitate amputation. Upon his recovery, he was engaged in recruiting for his brigade from among the foreign-born prisoners of war held in Confederate prison camps. Paroled on May 6, 1865, in North Carolina, he was financially ruined by the course of events. In his later years he operated the York House in Natchez, Mississippi, where he died on August 5, 1900, and where he is buried.

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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