himself during the Confederate
war by gallant services, was born in New Jersey
, November 22, 1818, and was educated mainly at the academy in Burlington
On July 1, 1843, he was graduated at West Point
with promotion to brevet second lieutenant in the Third artillery.
He served mostly on garrison duty until the Mexican
war, where he was engaged in the battles of Palo Alto
and Resaca de la Palma
, and soon after commissioned second lieutenant, June 18, 1846.
For gallant and meritorious conduct in the several battles at Monterey
he was brevetted first lieutenant, and in February, 1847, he was brevetted captain for like services in the battle of Buena Vista
, where he was severely wounded.
He — was appointed first lieutenant, Third artillery, March, 1847, and captain in the staff, assistant quartermaster
United States army, January 12, 1848.
On May 31, 1856, he resigned his commission and became a planter near Vicksburg, Miss.
In this occupation the war of 1861 found him. When Mississippi
seceded the governor sent for Captain French
and appointed him chief of ordnance in the army of Mississippi.
The work of obtaining arms and munitions of war was a difficult one, but Captain
French with untiring energy accomplished the arduous task.
In April, 1861, he was appointed major of artillery, and, in October, President Davis
sent him a dispatch asking him to accept the position of brigadier-general.
On the 23d of October he received his commission, and from November 14, 1861, to March 8, 1862, he had command at Evansport
, Va., blockading the Potomac river
On March 14th he was sent to relieve Gen. L. O'B. Branch
at New Bern, N. C. Kinston
were also in his department.
On July 17, 1862, he was assigned to command of the department of southern Virginia
and North Carolina
, with headquarters at Petersburg
May 28, 1863, he was ordered to report to Gen. Joseph E. Johnston
There was much discouragement at that time in the Southwest
on account of Pemberton