August 4, 2013

Military Monday ~ Brigadier General Zebulon York

Brigadier General Zebulon "Zeb" York
Born in Avon, Franklin, Maine
October 10, 1819
Died in Natchez, Adams, Mississippi
August 5, 1900
Buried in the Natchez City Cemetery
Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi

From Confederate Military History, vol. XII, p. 320:
Brigadier-General Zebulon York accompanied the Fourteenth Louisiana to Virginia in 1861 as its lieutenant-colonel.  In the early spring of 1862, the Fourteenth Louisiana was on the peninsula in the division of Gen. James Longstreet.  On the 5th of May, as the army of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston retired toward Richmond, his rear guard had a very sharp conflict with McClellan's advance at Williamsburg, with the result both sides claimed a victory.
Brigadier General Zeb York
General Longstreet in his report thus speaks:  "Lieut.-Col. Zebulon York discharged his difficult duties with marked skill and fearlessness."  During the Seven Days, he had become colonel of the Fourteenth Louisiana and led the regiment through that fiery ordeal.  After the campaigns of Second Manassas, Maryland and Fredericksburg, Colonel York was ordered to report to Gen. Richard Taylor in Louisiana to organize and drill conscripts designed for the Louisiana brigades in the army of Northern Virginia.
After he had completed this mission, Colonel York returned to the army of Northern Virginia, and appears again upon its muster roll at the head of his regiment during the Gettysburg campaign. 

On May 31, 1864, while the Overland campaign was in progress, Colonel York was commissioned brigadier-general with temporary rank, and he was assigned to the command of all the Louisiana troops in the army of Northern Virginia.
These troops included the heroic remnants of the brigades of Hays and Stafford, one of whom had been killed in battle, and the other severely wounded.  When Early's corps was sent to Lynchburg, York's brigade was part of his force.  Early was at first very successful, driving Hunter beyond the mountains, marching triumphantly down the valley, clearing it of Federal troops, then crossing the Potomac, defeating Wallace at the Monocacy and advancing to the very suburbs of Washington, giving the people of the North the greatest scare that they had experienced during the whole war.

At the battle of Winchester, fought on the 19th of September, 1864, General York was severely wounded, losing an arm, and was thus incapacitated for further service in the field during the campaign of 1864.

Tombstone photograph is courtesy of Geoff Walden at

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