Law's  Alabama  Brigade

The Commanders:

 Evander McIver Law , educator and journalist, was born in Darlington, SC, 7 August 1836. He studied in public school and attended the South Carolina Military Academy, graduating in 1856. He served as a history teacher there and at Kings Mountain Military Academy until 1860 when he moved to Tuskegee, AL, and helped to found the Military High School.

 When the Civil War came, Law recruited a compnay of men, mostly his students, that became a part of the 4th Alabama Infantry. Law rose to Lt. Col. of the regiment, and went with it to Virginia. After spending time in training, the regiment fought at 1st Manassas as part of Barnard E. Bee's 3rd Brigade, seeing its Col. killed in action, and Law wounded. However, Law recovered and was commissioned Col. of the 4th. When the 4th was sent to the Peninsula with Brig. Gen'l W. H. C. Whiting, Law commanded the brigade at Seven Pines and again during the Seven Day's fighting. Brig. Gen'l John Bell Hood then took command of his own Texas Brigade and Law's Brigade (composed of the 4th AL, 2nd and 11th MS, and 6th NC) and led his troops at 2nd Manassas, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg. Col. Law was promoted to Brigadier (15 October 1862, ranking from 2 October) and his brigade was reorganized to include five Alabama units, the 4th, 15th, 44th, 47th, and 48th AL regiments. At Gettysburg, Law's Brigade was on the right of the Confederate lines and led in the assault on the Round Tops. When Gen'l Hood was wounded, Law assumed command of Hood's Division, temporarily [Gen'l James Longstreet wanted to promote Brig. Gen'l Micah Jenkins rather than to keep Law in command]. However, Hood resumed command and ended the controversy. At Chickamauga (September 1863), Law assumed command of the division when Hood was wounded, as Jenkins had not reached the field. However, Jenkins commanded the division during the sieges of Knoxville and Chattanooga and until The Wilderness where Jenkins was mistaken for a Yankee and shot by his own men. Law led his men at The Wilderness, at Spotsylvania, and along the North Anna River where Law was seriously wounded. When he recovered, Law asked to be transferred and was sent to South Carolina where he commanded a brigade of cavalry. Placed in charge of evacuating Columbia, he was recommended for promotion to Major Gen'l (20 March 1865). He was a member of Gen'l Johnston's staff and surrendered with the Army of Tennessee.

 Following the war, Law became involved in agricultural affairs and helped organize the Alabama Grange in 1872. He also was associated with Kings Mountain Military Academy until it closed in 1881. At that point, Law relocated to Florida and opened the Southern Florida Military Institute at Bartow. Law operated the school until 1903. He also edited the Bartow Courier-Informant (1905-1915) and served on the Bartow Board of Education from 1912 until his death. Law was also active in Confederate veterans' activities and commanded the Florida Division, helped to organize a UDC chapter in Bartow, and wrote several articles about the war. He was the last surviving Confederate Major Gen'l. He died in Bartow, 31 Oct 1920, and is buried there.

 William Flake Perry , a Georgian, had been born in Jackson County, 12 March 1823, and was a self-educated, but non-practicing attorney with an interest in public education. His family moved to Alabama in 1833, and Perry began to teach in country schools while studying law. He was admitted to the bar, but he devoted himself to improving education and laying the basis for free public education in Alabama, rather than establishing a law practice. In 1858 he took charge of the East Alabama Female College at Tuskegee where he remained until the war called him in 1862.

 Perry enlisted as a private in the 44th Alabama infantry and began a rapid rise in rank. He was elected Major with a few weeks (May 1862), rose to Lt. Col. after 2nd Manassas (1 September 1862), and Col. after Sharpsburg (17 September 1862). He led his regiment at Gettysburg in the assault against Little Round Top, and he was cited for gallantry at Chickamauga. As a result of the feud between Gen'ls Jenkins and Law, Perry was in actual charge of the brigade during the winter, 1863-1864. He led his regiment at The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and the North Anna where Gen'l Law was wounded. Thereafter, Perry assumed command of the brigade and kept it until the surrender at Appomattox. However, he was not promoted to Brig. Gen'l until 21 February 1865.

Following the war, Perry farmed in Alabama for two years and then resumed his career as an educator. He became a professor of English and philosophy at Ogden College, Bowling Green, KY, at the time of his death there on 18 December 1901.


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