Magruder, John Bankhead

Magruder, John Bankhead

(məgro͞o`dər), 1810–71, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. Winchester, Va. His reckless daring in the Mexican War won him quick promotion in the army. At the outbreak of the Civil War he resigned and was made colonel in the Confederate army. In June, 1861, he defeated Benjamin F. Butler at Big Bethel. Promoted to major general (Oct., 1861), Magruder distinguished himself in the Peninsular campaign (1862). As commander of the Dept. of Texas (1862–64), he recaptured Galveston on Jan. 1, 1863. After the war he served (1866–67) as a major general in the army of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico.
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Magruder, John Bankhead

(1810–71) soldier; born in Winchester, Va. An 1830 West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran, he gained the nickname "Prince John" from his courtly manner and style of entertainment. Resigning his commission to become a colonel with the Confederate army, he led his forces to victory at Big Bethel, Va., in June 1861, regarded as the first land battle of the Civil War. Failing to prove aggressive enough in the Seven Days Battles (1862), and quarreling with Robert E. Lee, he was transferred to Texas, where he served without distinction until the war's end. He then went to Mexico and became a general under Emperor Maximilian, but in 1867 he returned to the U.S.A. where he lectured on his military experiences.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.