YOUR CART 0 items - $0.00
Roll over image to enlarge (scroll to zoom)

Confederate General John Buchanan Floyd

Item CON-10215
Price: $125.00


Brigadier-General John B. Floyd, of Virginia, was born at
Blacksburg, Pulaski County, June 1, 1801. He was the son of
Hon. John Floyd, a Democratic statesman of the old school, who
served in Congress for several terms, was governor of the
State, and in 1852 was a candidate for the presidency of the
United States.

Young Floyd was educated at the college of South Carolina,
with graduation in 1826, after which he studied law and was
admitted to practice. Turning to the West for a field of
effort, he removed to Arkansas, but three years later again
made his home in Virginia.

He resumed the practice of his profession in Washington
county, and took an active and prominent part in the political
affairs of the day. After serving three terms in the
legislature he was elected governor of Virginia in 1850.

In 1853 he was again elected to the legislature, and in 1856
he was a delegate to the national Democratic convention. In
the ensuing campaign he supported Buchanan, and when that
gentleman was inaugurated president he called Floyd to his
cabinet as secretary of war, where he served until the latter
part of December, 1860.

After the secession movement had begun in the South it was
charged by Floyd's political opponents in the North that he
had been secretly aiding in advance the Confederate cause by
dispersing the army to distant points on the frontier, by
shipping an undue proportion of arms and munitions to Southern
posts, and that he was privy to the abstraction of $870,000 in
bonds from the department of the interior.

He was indicted accordingly at Washington, but he promptly met
the charges, appeared in court and gave bail, and demanded
trial. In January, 1861, the charges were investigated by a
committee of congress, and he was completely exonerated.

After leaving Washington he returned home and remained there
until the spring of 1861, when he was commissioned brigadier-
general in the Confederate army, May 23rd.

In command of his brigade he participated in the West Virginia
campaign, joining General Wise in the Kanawha valley and
taking command in that district August 12th. On the 26th he
defeated Colonel Tyler, of Rosecrans' command, at Carnifax
Ferry, but from lack of co-operation was unable to follow up
his success.

Here he fought a battle with Rosecrans in September, and at
Gauley Bridge had another engagement in October. He was
subsequently assigned to the army under Albert Sidney
Johnston, in command of a brigade of Virginia troops, the
Thirty-sixth, Fiftieth, Fifty-first and Fifty-sixth and
Virginia artillery.

In the organization of the Central army of Kentucky he
commanded one of the three divisions. When Grant advanced
from Cairo, Johnston intrusted the defense of Fort Donelson to
Generals Floyd, Pillow and Buckner, Floyd taking general
command by virtue of seniority.

He withstood an assault by both the land and naval forces of
the enemy on February 13th and 14th, and on the next day,
believing his position untenable, ordered an attack in the
hope of cutting a path of retreat through the investing lines.
A fierce and stubborn battle followed, in which Pillow was
successful in gaining possession of the Charlotte road and
Buckner was equally successful on the Wynn's Ferry road.

Floyd then started for the right of his command to see that
all was secure there, "his intention being to hold the
positions gained and immediately move out the entire army."

During his absence a change was made in the disposition of the
troops by General Pillow, and the enemy pressed forward, and
with the help of reinforcements regained so much of their lost
ground that it became necessary to withdraw to the original
Confederate position.

A council of war followed, in which the generals were united
that resistance was useless against the great investing force,
but both Pillow and Floyd declared that they would not
surrender, and General Buckner assumed that responsibility.

Forrest took out his cavalry through the submerged river road,
and General Floyd, with a large part of his brigade, embarked
on the river transportation and reached Nashville in safety.

He subsequently had command of the "Virginia State Line,"
operating in southwestern Virginia, finally retiring to his
home at Abingdon, Va., where he died August 26, 1863.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. IV, p. 593