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Gideon Pillow
Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Confederate Military
September 3, 1861 In response to a federal build-up in the West, Leonidas Polk orders Gideon Pillow to take Columbus, Kentucky on the Mississippi River Kentucky
  Leonidas Polk
September 4, 1861 Gideon Pillow seizes Columbus Kentucky
November 7, 1861 Battle of Belmont

U. S. Grant [US] defeats Gideon Pillow [CS]. Grant's men are then routed by B. F. Cheatham [CS].

U. S. 607
C. S. 641
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Battle of Belmont
  Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
  Leonidas Polk
February 13, 1862
February 16, 1862
Battle of Ft. Donelson

General Ulysses S. Grant demands the unconditional surrender of the garrison from an old friend, Simon Bolivar Buckner
  Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
  Ulysses S. Grant
  Bloodiest Civil War battles
  John Floyd
  John A. McClernand
  Nathan Bedford Forrest
  Lew Wallace
  Army of the Tennessee
  Fort Henry and Fort Donelson
  Simon Bolivar Buckner
March 11, 1862 For their disasterous performance at Fort Donelson, President Jefferson Davis relieves John Floyd and Gideon Pillow from command.
  John Floyd
  Jefferson Davis

Gideon Pillow

Arguably the worst general on either side during the Civil War, Gid Pillow was a political appointee of James Polk during the Mexican-American War. Polk, then President of the United States, made Pillow a brigadier general to thank him for his support at the 1844 Democratic National Convention. Pillow had done work for Polk as a lawyer and they lived in the same area. After serving under Zachary Taylor, Pillow was transferred to Vera Cruz to serve under Winfield Scott.

At the battle of Cerra Gordo, Pillow was ordered to demonstrate against the center of the Mexican line while General Scott outflanked Santa Ana's army. Pillow turned down the wrong road, and advanced to the right flank of the Mexican Army, and attacked. As a result of this insubordination, Pillow was promoted to major general.

After Scott's troops won Mexico City, Pillow began to openly display his contempt for the General-in-Chief, to the point that Scott had to detain General Pillow. After appealing to President Polk, Pillow was released and Scott was relieved from duty.

I had known General Pillow in Mexico, and judged that with any force, no matter how small, I could march up to within gunshot of any intrenchments he was given to hold.
Ulysses S. Grant

Links appearing on this page:

James Polk
Mexican-American War
Ulysses S. Grant

Civil War Encyclopedia >> People - Confederate Military

Gideon Pillow was added in 2005

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