of a wealthy planter, and he asserted himself in every important State or national movement which interested his people from the time he assumed the responsibilities of a citizen to the day of his death.
The prominent part he took in the Charleston Convention and other important events preceding the election of Mr. Lincoln
, are fully set down in his book, which is almost a posthumous record of his own remarkable career, and made it inevitable that he would assume a prominence in the struggle he had endeavored to avert.
His military career was exceptionally successful.
He was never involved in disaster or identified with any defeat during the four years of his varied and active service.
As commander of a brigade under Jackson
in the Valley
, he was conspicuous by his frequent and critical success, and from the day he arrived in the Trans-Mississippi Department till the day of his promotion to command of the Department of Mississippi and Alabama
, his history was a brilliant record of incessant activity and unfailing success, culminating in the remarkable victories of Mansfield
and Pleasant Hill
, which are distinguished above all others by the fact that they afford the most conspicuous instance in which a Confederate commander having won a victory followed it up. Taylor
having beaten Banks
one day at Mansfield
, pursued him twenty-three miles next day, encountered his reinforced army at Pleasant Hill
, and beat it again.
His operations alone in that Department gave the gleams of hope which redeemed the four years of defeats, inactivity and despondency of the Confederate armies of the Trans-Mississippi Department.
When he recrossed to this side of the river, nothing was left to him to do but to provide for the decent obsequies of the corpse of the Confederacy
, and in executing this sad duty he evinced the highest capacities of his character.
His promptness and boldness in recognizing the responsibilities of his position, and his tact in the conduct of his negotiations with General Canby
, secured to his command the best possible terms of surrender and lent to the closing scenes of his capitulation a dignity and good order which won him the lasting respect of all who were concerned in it. On the close of the war he returned to his ruined estate, which was soon after confiscated and sold.
The Legislature of Louisiana
granted him a lease of the new canal, which was so administered as to afford him a becoming livelihood, and it is hoped that he had provided sufficient means for the support of his three orphaned daughters.