disastrous defeats in the field and because of the fact that Vicksburg
was now closely besieged.
There was also much distrust among soldiers and citizens of all officers of Northern birth.
therefore addressed a communication to Mr. Davis
to the effect that it had been suggested to him that General French
's arrival would be a source of weakness instead of strength.
in his reply informed General Johnston
that General French
was a citizen of Mississippi
and a wealthy planter until the enemy had robbed him. He also stated that before the Confederate States
had an army, General French
‘was the chief of ordnance and artillery
in the force Mississippi
raised to maintain her right of secession.’
entered upon his duties and was soon one of General Johnston
's most trusted officers.
The people of Mississippi
knew him already and believed in his fidelity and honor.
He served under Johnston
and then under Polk
, and was in Polk
's (afterward Stewart
's) corps under Johnston
He and his division, consisting of the brigades of Cockrell
, were engaged in all the battles of the Atlanta
campaigns, and were surpassed by none in heroic devotion to the cause of the South
In the fall campaign in north Georgia
it was French who made the gallant attack upon Corse
He had driven the Federals
from their outer works and into a little star fort, and was pressing the attack with vigor when he was informed of the approach of Sherman
He was compelled reluctantly to retire when victory was almost in his grasp.
At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain
it was the guns of French on Kenesaw
that poured such a destructive fire upon the Union
forces, who had broken through the right of Walker
's skirmishers, as to drive them back before they came within range of Walker
's line of battle.
Wherever French was engaged he and his men never failed to give a good account of themselves.