Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brother Against Brother, Part 2


Confederate Brigadier General James B. Terrill


Federal Brigadier General William R. Terrill

       Two more brothers who served as general's during the Civil War on opposite sides were James and William Terrill. Unlike the McIntosh brothers, both of the Terrill brothers would die fighting during the war. William was born in 1834 and obtained an appointment to the United States Military Academy. He would rise to the rank of brigadier general and be mortally wounded by artillery fire at the Battle of Perryville. His younger brother James was born in 1838 and attended the Virginia Military Institute. Unlike William, he didn't make the military his career, but instead became an attorney. When the war began, James and another brother named Phillip joined the Confederate army. Phillip was a private and was killed at the Battle of Cedar Creek. James who rose to the rank of brigadier general was killed at Bethesda Church by a Federal sharpshooter. He was buried by the Federals on the field and his grave has been lost to history.
        After the war, their father erected a monument to the memory of the Terrill brothers which read, 'This monument erected by their father. God alone knows which was right.'


Confederate Major General George B. Crittenden


Federal Major General Thomas L. Crittenden

       George Crittenden was born in 1812 and his younger brother Thomas was born in 1819. George graduated from the United States Military Academy and became a career soldier. He saw action in the Black Hawk War and Mexican War. The Crittenden family were close friends with the Davis family, both from Kentucky. George decided to join the Confederate army under his close friend Jefferson Davis. He commanded the troops at Mill Springs during the defeat there. Rumors soon circulated that he had been intoxicated while on duty. A courts-martial was convened and Crittenden was cashiered from the army. Thomas became a lawyer and joined the army to fight during the Mexican War. He rejoined the army when the Civil War began and rose to the rank of major general before resigning in 1864. 


Confederate Brigadier General John R. Cooke


Federal Brigadier General Phillip St. George Cooke

       In an even rarer incident, there were a pair of general's who fought on opposite sides who were father against son. Virginia born Federal cavalry commander Phillip Cooke remained loyal to the Union when the Civil War began. His Harvard educated son John Rogers Cooke would resign his commission and enter the Confederate army. John's sister Flora Cooke had married a Virginian named James Ewell Brown Stuart, otherwise known as Jeb. When the war began Stuart would see action on the Peninsula in Virginia against his father-in-law Phillip. Stuart once said that his father-in-law would regret his decision for fighting against his home state but once and that would be eternally. 
       Bother Cooke's would survive the war, but Stuart would be mortally wounded at Yellow Tavern in 1864. The senior Cooke would outlive his son by four years dying in 1895. These are just a few of the many close relatives in the officer ranks during the war. There were many cousins who fought against each other in that war also. Abraham Buford and John Buford, both served in the cavalry service. Robert E. Lee's second cousin was Samuel P. Lee who was a rear admiral in the United States Navy and in charge of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.  There were probably few families who weren't affected by relatives fighting relatives during the Civil War. 


1 comment:

  1. We don't think much today about how families were torn apart during this war. I can't imagine having a fatherr or brother on one side and another brother on the other side.

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