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Hamilton Prioleau Bee
Born (1822-07-22)July 22, 1822
Died October 3, 1897(1897-10-03) (aged 75)
Place of birth Charleston, South Carolina
Place of death San Antonio, Texas
Place of burial Confederate Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas
Allegiance  United States
Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch U.S. Army
Confederate States Army
Years of service 1846–1848 (USA)
1862–1865 (CSA)
Rank Union army 1st lt rank insignia.jpg First Lieutenant (USA)
File:CSAGeneral.png Brigadier General (CSA)

American Civil War

Other work Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, 1855–57

Hamilton Prioleau Bee (July 22, 1822 – October 3, 1897) was an American politician in early Texas who served one term as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and later was a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War.

Early life

Bee was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to Ann Wragg Fayssoux and Barnard E. Bee, Sr, from a political family. His family moved to Texas when he was 14.

Political career

At age 17, Bee served as secretary for the commission that determined the border between the United States and the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston sent Bee, Joseph C. Eldridge, and Thomas S. Torrey to open negotiations with the Comanche in 1843. They achieved the Treaty of Tehuacana Creek. Bee served as secretary of the Texas Senate in the First Texas Legislature in 1846.

During the Mexican-American War, Bee served under Benjamin McCulloch's Company A of Col. Jack Hays's 1st Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers for a time, but then transferred to Mirabeau B. Lamar's Texas cavalry company as a second lieutenant. Bee signed up for a second term in 1847—this time as first lieutenant—in Lamar's Company, which was by then a component of Col. Peter Hansborough Bell's regiment of Texas volunteers.

Bee moved to Laredo after the war and ran for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives for the Third Texas Legislature in 1849. He was repeatedly re-elected and served through the end of the Seventh Legislature, for a total of ten years in the House. In the Sixth Legislature, Bee was decisively elected Speaker of the House with 78 votes, to 1 vote each for N. B. Charlton and Pleasant Williams Kittrell.[1]

Marriage and family

After becoming established in the legislature, at the age of 32 Bee married Mildred Tarver, on May 21, 1854.[2] Together they had six children. Their son Carlos Bee was later elected as a US Congressman.

Civil War

In 1861, Bee was elected brigadier general of the Texas militia and appointed as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army on March 4, 1862. Bee commanded the brigade that consisted of Carl Buchel's First, Nicholas C. Gould's Twenty-third, Xavier Blanchard Debray's Twenty-sixth, James B. Likin's Thirty-fifth, Peter Cavanaugh Woods's Thirty-sixth, and Alexander Watkins Terrell's Texas cavalry regiments.

Bee was headquartered in Brownsville and facilitated the trade of cotton for munitions through Mexico. On November 4, 1863, he was forced to abandon Brownsville in the face of a Union expeditionary force under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks. Bee was transferred to a field command in 1864 under Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor in the Red River Campaign. In the Battle of Pleasant Hill, Bee had two different horses shot out from under him during a cavalry charge, but was only slightly wounded.[3] One of Bee's brigade commanders at this time was Arthur P. Bagby, Jr., who later replaced him in command. Later, despite intense criticism of his handling of his troops, Bee was given command of Thomas Green's division in Maj. Gen. John A. Wharton's cavalry corps in February 1865. After that time, he commanded an infantry brigade in Gen. Samuel B. Maxey's division.


After the war, Bee moved his family to Saltillo, Mexico, where they lived in a self-imposed exile in Mexico until 1874. They returned to live in San Antonio, where he practiced law.

After Bee died in 1897, he was buried in the Confederate Cemetery. He was the older brother of Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., also a Confederate Army general. Their father, Barnard Elliott Bee, Sr., a leader in the Texas Revolution, was the namesake of Beeville and Bee County, Texas.

See also


  1. (pdf) Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, Sixth Legislature.. Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Austin, Texas: Marshall & Oldham, State Printers. 1855. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  2. Conner, Tim (2006-10-21). "Tim Conner's Database: Hamilton Prioleau Bee" (Family group sheet). Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  3. John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, pp. 349-355


External links

Preceded by
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Hardin Richard Runnels
Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
Succeeded by
William S. Taylor

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