Nathan George Evans"Shanks"
(1824 - 1868)
Home State: South Carolina
Command Billet: Brigade Commander
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: Evans' (Independent) Brigade
see his Battle Report
Before the Antietam Campaign:
He graduated from the USMA in 1848 and served on frontier duty with the 2nd Dragoons and the 2nd Cavalry. In February 1861 he resigned from the US Army. He was appointed a Major in the South Carolina provisional army, and served as Adjutant to Gen. Dunavant during the firing on Fort Sumter. He commanded a demi-brigade at First Manassas and was one of the first to realize the Union battle plan and to move against it. He was afterward appointed Colonel, CSA, and was given command of a brigade of Mississippi and Virginia troops and sent to guard the Potomac River near Leesburg. For his stunning victory at Ball's Bluff in October 1861 he was appointed Brigadier General and was sent to assist in the defense of Charleston. In July 1862 he was given command of a new South Carolina brigade and sent to join the Army of Northern Virginia at Richmond. Evans' Brigade then fought at Second Manassas, taking substantial casualties, and at South Mountain.
In the Antietam Campaign:
Commanded Evans' (Independent) Brigade in Longstreet's Command. The brigade was down to between 120 and 275 men and primarily served to defend its Macbeth Light Artillery, which was praised by Lee for its "well-directed fire".
The remainder of the War:
Evans Brigade was separated from Longstreet's Army in late 1862 and sent to eastern North Carolina to counter a raid on Kinston and Goldsboro. After this campaign, Evans was tried for intemperance during the Battle of Kinston but was acquitted. The brigade was sent to Charleston to recruit additional men, but was almost immediately sent to Mississippi to assist in the attempt to rescue Vicksburg. Upon the brigade's return to Charleston in the fall of 1863, Evans quarreled with his superior and was removed from command and tried for insubordination. He was acquitted but by this time Beauregard had lost confidence in him and refused to return him to command until the late spring of 1864. Evans was severly injured in a buggy accident in Charleston while preparing his brigade to leave to join the Petersburg Campaign. His brigade want north without him and subsequently suffered large losses when blown up at the Battle of the Crater. Evans recovered somewhat from the accident but never regained command. He was given minor duties at the War Department in Richmond in late 1864. In April 1865 he and his brother-in-law, Gen. Martin W. Gary, fled Richmond with President Davis. They accompanied Davis until he spent the night of May 1 at the Gary home in Cokesbury, SC.
After the War:
He was a High School principal in Cokesbury, SC, and then at a Methodist Academy in Midway AL where he died on November 23, 1868, probably from the lingering effects of his Charleston accident.
References, Sources, and other notes:
This bio sketch by Dr. DeWitt Stone, author of Wandering to Glory: Confederate Veterans Remember Evans' Brigade.1 Photograph from Uriguen. 2
|Birth Date: 02/03/1824 Place of Birth: Marion, SC |
College: US Military Academy, West Point, NY Graduating Year: 1848 Class Rank: 36
Death Date: 11/23/1868 Death Place: Midway, AL Burial Place: Tabernacle Cemetery at Cokesbury, SC
1 Stone, Jr., DeWitt Boyd, Wandering to Glory: Confederate Veterans Remember Evans' Brigade, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2002 [AotW citation 319]
2 Uriguen, Mikel, Photo Gallery (Generals and Brevet Generals), Generals of the Civil War, Published c. 1998, first accessed 01 January 1998, <http://www.generalsandbrevets.com/>, Source page: /sge/evansng.htm [AotW citation 320]
« Search for Another Participant