Friday, February 18, 2011

Southern Charm: The Top Confederate Generals Who Possessed It

Thomas Benton Smith

       Confederate Brigadier General Thomas Benton Smith from Tennessee was known for his southern charm.  His staff officers often begged him to share the many pretty women who were attracted to him because of his good looks and southern charm.  All that would come to an end at the Battle of Nashville when he was struck over the head by a sword after surrendering.  He would spend the next 47 years in an insane asylum.  

Matthew Calbraith Butler

       Major General Matthew C. Butler from South Carolina may have gone a little far with his southern charm.  Despite losing a leg and having a wife he always had a lady on the side.  Somehow he kept his adulterous relationships going despite serving in the United States Congress following the war.  

Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

       General Beauregard was well liked by the women of the south because he was supposed to be the next Napoleon.  His first wife had died in 1853 and he had remarried in 1860.  Following his performance in capturing Fort Sumter, southern women fawned over him.  He received so many bouquets that he didn't have enough room to display them all.  His second wife died in 1864 and the man would never remarry, however the man was never without female companionship.  

Benjamin Franklin Cheatham

       Major General Ben Cheatham obviously obtained quite a bit of southern charm.  Because as my wife says, "He must have had something but it wasn't looks!"  The lifelong bachelor was well known for his hard drinking and his colorful language.  At the Battle of Murfreesboro he was so intoxicated he couldn't even mount his horse.  At the Battle of Springhill he was rumored to be seeing a local belle named Jessie Peters while the federal army escaped a carefully laid trap.  This resulted in the high casualties at Franklin the next day.  After the war he would return to Nashville, Tennessee, get married, and settle down.  

James Euell Brown Stuart

       Major General Jeb Stuart, the eyes and ears of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was well known for his southern charm.  He was married to Flora Cooke and there is no evidence that he ever cheated on her.  He did have a fondness for ladies though.  When in camp   he always made sure there was a ball.  Several officers under his command complained that Stuart always had to kiss all the pretty girls.  His life came to a tragic end at Yellow Tavern in 1864 where he was shot in the liver.

Earl Van Dorn

       The general most known for his southern charm was Earl Van Dorn of Mississippi.  Southern women thought he was extremely handsome and charming.  He had an extremely large ego, although he  never won a battle in command of an army.  Although he was married his wife knew of his extramarital activities.  President Davis reduced him to cavalry command and Van Dorn made Springhill, Tennessee his headquarters.  He chose the home of a local doctor.  The doctors wife was named Jessie Peters and they were known to take long carriage rides together alone.  One afternoon General Van Dorn was working at Dr. Peters desk when the doctor slipped around behind him and shot him in the back of the head.  
       You have to be careful with that southern charm because it is not always a good thing.  Some southern gentlemen can get away with these things while others of us get shot in the back of the head.  



  1. I thoroughly enjoyed helping you with this blog and learning about all these generals. I still say Cheatham is not a handsome man at all!! Lol!!

  2. lol chasing women get u in trouble

  3. my great, great, great ,great grandfather is general beareguard,not exactly proud of it though

    1. you should be proud of it. don't let these P.C. idiots make you ashamed.