(1836 - 1896)
Home State: South Carolina
Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1861
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Cavalry
He was educated at the military institute in Georgia, began the study of law, and then entered the United States Military Academy in 1857, resigning ibn 1861 two months before graduating to go with the South. His friend and roommate G. A. Custer stayed with the Union.
"After the Seven Days fighting around Richmond, when there was a re-organization, the cavalry being recruited and raised to a regiment and formed a part of Hampton's Brigade, Stuart's Cavalry Corps. Soon after reaching Richmond in July, 1861, P. M. B. Young, fresh from West Point, was assigned to duty as Sargeant-Major and Drill Master of the calvary [sic]. His genius and skill as a soldier were quickly demontrated by his masterful manipulation and training of the splendid material under his command, and he was, before leaving Richmond, chosen Major ..."
On the Campaign
He was wounded in the leg, and left the field near Burkittsville on September 13, during a charge on Federal Cavalry.
The rest of the War
He remained in Cavalry service, promoted through the grades of the service to Major-General on 12 December, 1864, when he was in command of a cavalry division.
After the War
"After the war, [he] was the only Democrat who was elected to Congress when representation was restored under the reconstruction acts, taking his seat on 25 July, 1868. He was re-elected for the three succeeding terms, serving till 3 March, 1875 ... He was appointed consul-general to St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1885, but, owing to the severe climate, resigned a year later."
He was lastly US minister to Guatemala and Honduras (1893-1896).
References & notes
Source: Howard, Wiley C., Co. C, Sketch of Cobb Legion Cavalry And Some Incidents and Scenes Remembered, 1901, posted online by UNC, Chapel Hill, 1998; and
Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889
"George Armstrong Custer wrote about his friend Pierce Manning Butler Young, who left West Point to become a Confederate general: "I remember a conversation held at the table at which I sat during the winter of '60-'61. I was seated next to Cadet P. M. B. Young, a gallant young fellow, a classmate of mine, then and since the war an intimate and valued friend, a major-general in the Confederate forces during the war and a member of Congress from his native State [Georgia] at a later date. The approaching war was as usual the subject of conversation in which all participated, and in the freest and most friendly manner. . . . Finally, in a half jocular, half earnest manner, Young turned to me and delivered himself as follows: 'Custer, my boy, we're going to have war. It's no use talking: I see it coming. All the Crittenden compromises that can be patched up won't avert it. Now let me prophesy what will happen to you and me. You will go home, and your abolition Governor will probably make you colonel of a cavalry regiment. I will go down to Georgia, and ask Governor Brown to give me a cavalry regiment. And who knows but we may move against each other during the war. . . .' Lightly as we both regarded this boyish prediction, it was destined to be fulfilled in a remarkable degree."
(from Kirshner's Class of 1861)
More on the Web
Custer and Young did meet again later in the War ... see the story online.
11/15/1836 Spartanburg, SC
7/6/1896 New York City, NY