Sunday, December 25, 2011

Brother Against Brother, Part 1

Confederate Brigadier General James M. McIntosh

       Most everyone has heard stories about the Civil War being a war where brothers often fought one another. Few realize that this also occurred among the generals who fought. James McQueen McIntosh was born in 1828 in Florida while his father was stationed there in the U.S. Army. A year later, while still at that post James little brother John Baillie McIntosh would be born. Their father would be killed during the Mexican War. 
       James would miss the Mexican War while attending West Point. There he proved to be a very poor student. He cared very little for the classroom and like fellow Confederate General George Pickett, he would finish dead last in his class. His brother John wouldn't attend West Point, but served in the Navy as a midshipman during the Mexican War. 

Union Brigadier General John B. McIntosh

       When the Civil War began, James resigned his commission and became colonel of the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles. He saw action at Wilson's Creek where he proved to be a daring cavalry commander. He was famous for his fearlessness in battle and his colorful language. Leading his men in desperate charges would prove his undoing. 
       He would receive a promotion to brigadier general for his actions in routing a numerically superior force. His first major battle following that promotion would prove to be his last. At the Battle of Pea Ridge after seeing his friend and commander Benjamin McCulloch killed. He charged forward in an attempt to recover the mans body and be shot through the heart. They would carry the high-strung officer back to the National Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas where he rests today. James McIntosh was either 33 or 34 years old. His exact birth date has been lost to history. 

McCulloch and McIntosh were both killed in the treeline across the field

       When the war began, James's brother John was working in business in New Jersey. Like James, John would spend the war serving in the cavalry. He was with McClellan's army during the Seven Days. He served well during the  Battle of Chancellorsville. He led an attack against J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry at Gettysburg. His next action would be over a year later at the Battle of Winchester where he would lose a leg. 
       Following the war, John would return to New Jersey and die there in 1888 at the age of 59. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, New Brunswick, New Jersey. It makes you wonder how two brothers so close in age could ever consider fighting a war on opposite sides. 

James grave in Arkansas

John's grave in New Jersey

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