Patrick Ronayne Cleburne, 1828-1864

Known as the Stonewall Jackson of the West, Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was born in County Cork, Ireland, on 17 March 1828. In 1849, he came to the United States of America and settled in Helena, Arkansas.

When Arkansas seceded, Cleburne was appointed Colonel in the Confederate Army. In March of 1862, he was promoted to Brigadier General. His outstanding leadership at the battles of Shiloh, Richmond, Kentucky, and Perryville brought him promotion to Major General in December of 1862.

Cleburne's Division became the most celebrated command in the Army of Tennessee. It was engaged in battles at Murfreesboro (Stone River), at Chickamauga, and at Missionary Ridge where it held its position against superior numbers and then checked the Union pursuit. Cleburne served galantly in the Atlanta campaign.

In spite of these military successes, Cleburne's proposal to enlist and free the slaves probably prevented his further promotion. He met his death at the head of his troops in the great charge at Franklin, Tennessee, on 30 November 1864.

Arguably the best Confederate general in the Army of Tennessee, Cleburne remains virtually unknown to most Americans and many Southerners. The Patrick Cleburne Society hopes to rectify this oversight and preserve for future generations not only the battlefields where Cleburne’s Division won immortality, but the story of the man who led it.

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