Mississippi legislature, and afterward major-general to succeed Jefferson Davis
He was commissioned colonel of cavalry in the regular Confederate service to date from March 16, 1861, and for a short time was in command at Forts Jackson
and St. Philip
, below New Orleans.
Then going to Texas
he was put in command of that department, April 11th.
With a body of Texas
volunteers on April 20th he captured the steamer Star of the West, in Galveston harbor, and on the 24th of the same month received at Saluria the surrender of Maj. Caleb C. Sibley
and seven companies of the United States infantry, and that of Col. Isaac V. D. Reese
with six companies of the Eighth infantry.
His promotion in the Confederate army was very rapid, to brigadier-general in June, and to major-general in September, 1861.
Going to Virginia
he was assigned to command of the First division, army of the Potomac, during the latter part of 1861.
Thence he was transferred in January, 1862, to the command of the Trans-Mississippi district.
There, in general command of the forces of Price
, he brought on the battle of Elkhorn
, which was wellcon-ceived, but failed of success through the untimely loss of the latter two officers.
Ordered by Gen. A. S. Johnston
to cross the Mississippi
, he brought his army to Corinth
just after the battle of Shiloh
, and joining Beauregard
, was in command of the army of the West, which formed one corps of the forces occupying Corinth
until the latter part of May.
His next service was in command of the district of Mississippi, with headquarters at Vicksburg
, during the naval operations against that place in the summer of 1862.
moved toward Kentucky Van Dorn
was left in command of a force called the army of West Tennessee, with which, aided by Price
's army of the West, he made an attack on Rosecrans
, October, 1862, in which his troops made a gallant fight, but suffered heavy loss in the attempt to carry the enemy's works.
The circumstances of the battle and the retreat