Earl Van Dorn
b. Sept. 17, 1820, near Port Gibson, Miss.
d. May 7, 1863, Spring Hill, Tenn.

Van Dorn graduated 52nd in his 1842 West Point class of 56 members. He then served in the Mexican War and fought in the Indian campaigns until he resigned in January 1861 to join the Confederate Army. He was quickly promoted to major general on September 19, 1861. He commanded the Army of the West in Trans-Mississippi and was then transferred to lead the Army of the Mississippi. His military career had many successes, such as destroying Grant's supply depot at Holly Springs, Mississippi in 1862, however, his career also suffered several defeats. After Van Dorn's October 1862 defeat at Corinth, he faced a court of inquiry for his command which included a charge of drunkenness on the battlefield. Ironically, Van Dorn did not fall in battle but instead to a personal grudge. He was shot by a man who claimed Van Dorn had "violated the sanctity of his home." However, some claimed Van Dorn was murdered for political reasons.

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