Military Wiki
Advertisement
Levin Major Lewis
Born (1832-01-06)January 6, 1832
Died May 28, 1886(1886-05-28) (aged 54)
Place of birth Baltimore, Maryland
Place of death Los Angeles, California
Buried at Dallas, Texas
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
Service/branch Seal of the Confederate States of America.svg Confederate States Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank Confederate States of America Colonel.png Colonel, CSA
35px Assigned to duty as:
Brigadier General
Battles/wars American Civil War

Levin Major Lewis (January 6, 1832 – May 28, 1886) was a Confederate States Army colonel during the American Civil War. On May 16, 1865, he was assigned to duty as a brigadier general by General E. Kirby Smith when the war even in the Trans-Mississippi Department was almost over, but he was not officially appointed by Confederate President Jefferson Davis and confirmed by the Confederate Senate to that rank.[1]

At about age 22, Lewis moved to Missouri and briefly practiced law before becoming a Methodist minister. He was principal of Plattsburg College from 1856 to 1859. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized a company of the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard and was elected captain. In April 1861, he was elected colonel of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment of the 5th Division of the Missouri State Guard, a one-year regiment. After the end of the regiment's term, he was briefly an aide-de-camp for Major General Earl Van Dorn and then was elected a captain of the Confederate 7th Missouri Infantry. He was wounded four times at the Battle of Lone Jack, Missouri on August 16, 1862. The regiment soon was broken up and Lewis became a major of another 7th Missouri Infantry, later designated the 16th Missouri Infantry. He became colonel of that regiment on March 24, 1863.

Lewis was wounded and captured in an attack on the Union force at Helena, Arkansas on July 4, 1863. He was released from the prisoner of war camp at Johnson's Island, Ohio and exchanged in September 1864. Lewis declined an appointment from Confederate Missouri Governor Thomas Caute Reynolds to the Confederate Senate and returned to the army. Lewis was assigned to duty on May 16, 1865 by General E. Kirby Smith so that he could command an infantry brigade with the appropriate rank, although the war was effectively ended and the promotion could not be made through a legal appointment by Jefferson Davis or confirmation by the Confederate Senate.

After the war, Lewis returned to the ministry and at various times was president of Arcadia Female College, Arkansas Female College and Marvin College (Waxahachie, Texas). He also was a professor of English for a time at Texas A&M University. In 1884, he was appointed pastor of the First Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas.

Early life[]

Levin Major Lewis was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 6, 1832.[2][3] His parents were John Kendall and Mary (Jones) Lewis, a family of wealthy planters in Dorchester County, Maryland.[2] Lewis's father died when he was young and he was raised by an uncle in Vienna in Dorchester County.[2]

Lewis attended school in Washington, D.C. in 1843, and then at the Maryland Military Academy and at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.[2][3] A member of the class of 1852, Lewis left Wesleyan in his sophomore year to study law.[4] In 1854 or 1855, he moved to Missouri and briefly practiced law before turning to the ministry.[2][3] He became a Methodist minister[3] in Liberty, Missouri and Missouri City, Missouri.[2] Lewis was principal of Plattsburg College in Plattsburg, Missouri from 1856 to 1859.[2][3]

Lewis's wife's maiden name was Margaret Barrow.[5]

American Civil War service[]

Levin Major Lewis was an early organizer and captain of a company in the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard.[2][3] In April 1861, Lewis was elected colonel of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment, 5th Division of the Missouri State Guard under Major General Sterling Price, a one-year regiment.[2][3][6] In March 1862, he became a volunteer aide-de-camp for Major General Earl Van Dorn.[3]

On June 18, 1862, Lewis was elected a captain of the Confederate 7th Missouri Infantry.[2][3] He was wounded four times at the Battle of Lone Jack, Missouri on August 16, 1862.[2] One of these wounds was from a spent musket ball which hit Lewis's forehead sufficiently hard to stick and which Lewis picked out and showed to his colonel.[7][8]

After the Battle of Lone Jack, Lewis's regiment was broken up and Lewis became a major of another 7th Missouri Infantry, later designated the 16th Missouri Infantry.[2][3][6] On December 4, 1862, Lewis was promoted to lieutenant colonel.[2][3] On December 7, 1862, the regiment fought at the Battle of Prairie Grove.[2] Lewis was promoted to colonel of the regiment on March 4, 1863,[3] or March 24, 1863.[2]

On July 4, 1863, Lewis led his regiment in the unsuccessful Confederate attack on the Union Army garrison at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas, where he was wounded and captured.[2][3] He was released from the prisoner of war camp at Johnson's Island, Ohio and exchanged in September 1864.[2][3][9] Lewis first went to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia where he declined an appointment to the Confederate Senate from Confederate Missouri Governor Thomas Caute Reynolds and then returned to his regiment.[2]

Lewis was assigned to duty as a brigadier general on May 16, 1865 by General E. Kirby Smith so that he could command an infantry brigade with the appropriate rank, although the war was effectively ended by the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia a month earlier and the capture of Jefferson Davis by Union troops in Georgia six days earlier.[2][3][6][10] Smith also had no legal authority to promote officers to general officer rank.[11] While Lewis vigorously opposed surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Department, by mid-May 1865 Smith realized the Confederacy was defeated, further fighting was senseless and he surrendered his forces and department on May 26, 1865.[2]

Aftermath[]

After the war, Lewis returned to the Methodist ministry.[2][3] He served congregations in Shreveport, Louisiana, Galveston, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri.[2][3]

Lewis was president of Arcadia Female College in Missouri from 1870 through 1873, Arkansas Female College from 1874 to 1878 and Marvin College at Waxahachie, Texas in 1880.[2][3] He also was a professor of English and first Head of the English Department at Texas A&M University in the year 1878–1879.[2][3][12] In 1884, he left Waxahachie and was appointed pastor of the First Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas.[2]

Levin Major Lewis died on May 28, 1886 at Los Angeles, California where he had gone for health reasons.[2][3] He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.[2][3]

See also[]

References[]

  1. Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5. p. 351.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 Allardice, Bruce S. More Generals in Gray. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-8071-3148-2 (pbk.). pp. 142–143.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 603.
  4. Levin Major Lewis, Alumni Record of Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. Ebook. Page 80 of 111. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  5. Allardice, Bruce S. Confederate Colonels: A Biographical Register. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8262-1809-4. p. 238.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 0-8160-1055-2. p. 385.
  7. Jackman, Sidney Drake. Norton, Richard L., ed. 'Behind Enemy Lines: The Memoirs and Writings of Brigadier General Sidney Drake Jackman, CSA'. Springfield, MO: Oak Hills Pub., 1997. ISBN 978-1-891959-04-2. p. 92, Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  8. Colonel Jackman later wrote: "I had hoped to convert him to Campbellism, but since Yankee bullets could not penetrate his head, there was no use in trying Campbellite argument, and I should have to give up. He is a Methodist to this day." Jackman, pub. 1997, p. 92.
  9. Sifakis, 1988, p. 385 says that Lewis was part of a detachment sent to Louisiana to face Union Major General Nathaniel P. Banks in the Red River Campaign in April 1864. This is inconsistent with other sources which state that Lewis was a prisoner of war at that time. The 16th Missouri Infantry Regiment fought at the Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana on April 9, 1864 but it was commanded by its lieutenant colonel, Pleasant W. H. Cumming.
  10. Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X. First published New York, McKay, 1959. p. 481.
  11. Warner, 1959, pp. xvi, 351
  12. 'Texas A&M University English Department web site'. Retrieved July 4, 2012.

Bibliography[]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Advertisement