Friday, September 7, 2012

Brigadier-General Adley H. Gladden

Brigadier-General Adley H. Gladden was born in South Carolina, and was one of the most heroic men of that gallant State. In every period of American history, when a call has been made to battle for the liberties or honor of the country, South Carolina's valiant sons have been among the foremost in the fray; and during the long and bloody war between the sections of the great republic the Carolinians were never deaf to the call of duty or honor. On every field where they fought they added new luster to their gallant State; and no matter where they made their home they never forgot that they were Carolinians, and South Carolina never forgot to love and honor them. One who takes the pains to read the records of the gallant leaders of the Southern armies will be surprised to note how many of them received their best training in the Mexican war. Though West Point furnished some of the choicest spirits of that war so memorable for the unbroken success of the American arms, yet many other gallant officers were there who, in that romantic struggle of small forces against tremendous odds, measured up in brilliant achievements to their brethren of the regular service. No regiment in all the American army that fought its way over all obstacles from Vera Cruz to the halls of the Montezumas was more famous than the Palmetto regiment of South Carolina. Gladden was the major of that regiment, whose colonel and lieutenant-colonel were killed, together with many of their brave men in the storming of the Mexican works at the fierce battle of Churubusco. In consequence of the bloody result of that day Major Gladden became colonel of the Palmetto regiment and led it in the assault upon the Belen Gate, where he also was severely wounded. When the civil war came, Colonel Gladden, whose home was then in Louisiana, made haste to serve the cause of his beloved South. Going to Pensacola as colonel of the First Louisiana regiment, on September 30, 1861, he was commissioned brigadier-general and assigned to command of a brigade, including the First regiment, of which D. W. Adams then became colonel. He was in command of his brigade during the bombardment of the Confederate forts at Pensacola harbor, and General Bragg expressed thanks for the able support he rendered. Subsequently Bragg, expressing a desire to form a brigade of regiments which should set an example of discipline and official excellence, said, “I should desire General Gladden to command them.” In January, 1862, Gladden was transferred to Mobile and thence to Corinth, where he was in command of a brigade composed of four Alabama regiments, the First Louisiana and Robertson's battery. At Shiloh this brave officer proved that he had lost none of the fire of his youth. General Beauregard thus describes his death: “In the same quarter of the field all of Withers’ division, including Gladden’s brigade, reinforced by Breckenridge's whole reserve, soon became engaged, and Prentiss’ entire line, though fighting stoutly, was pressed back in confusion. We early lost the services of the gallant Gladden, a man of soldierly aptitudes and experience, who, after a marked influence upon the issue in his quarter of the field, fell mortally wounded.'” Struck down by a cannon-ball, he was carried from the field and soon afterward he died.

SOURCE: Clement A. Evans, Editor, Confederate Military History, Vol. 10, p. 301-2

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