Claudius Wistar Sears

Born 8 November 1817 in Peru, Massachusetts; died 15 February 1891 in Oxford, Mississippi.


   Sears graduated from West Point Military Academy in the class of 1841; appointed 2nd Lieut., 8th Regt, U.S. Inf.; was in Florida war until October, 1842; resigned;  teacher of mathematics, St. Thomas' Hall, Miss., 1844-1845. Prof. of mathematics and civil engineering at University of Louisiana, at New Orleans until 1860; in Confederate Army as Colonel and Brigadier General from 1861 to 1865; lost a leg at battle of Nashville, 15 Dec. 1864; Prof. of mathematics and civil engineering at University of Mississippi, at Oxford in 1865.

   Marriage into a Texas family overrode the Northern birth and Military Academy appointment and led him to a Confederate Brigadier Generalship. The Massachusetts born West Pointer (1841) had received his appointment from the state of New York. After graduation he served only a year before resigning as a 2nd Lieut. in the 8th U.S. Infantry.

   A college professor before the war, he was a school president in 1861 when he offered his military services to the Confederacy. His assignments included Capt., Co. G, 17th Miss. Inf. (spring 1861); Colonel, 46th Miss. Inf. (Dec. 4, 1862); Brigadier General, C.S.A. (1 March 1864); and commanded a brigade in French's Division, Polks (Army of Miss.)-Stewart's Corps, Army of Tenn. (May - 15 Dec. 1964). Named to command the Magnolia Guards early in the war, he became part of the 17th Miss. before his promotion to Colonel of a new regiment. The 17th Mississippi fought at 1st Bull Run (21 July 1861), Ball's Bluff, Virginia (21 Oct. 1861), Yorktown (5 April 1862); Seven Pines, Virginia (31 May 1862); in the Seven Days, Virginia (25 June 1862) and at Antietam (17 Sep. 1862).

   His new regiment, the 46th Mississippi fought at Chickasaw Bayou (29 Dec. 1862) against Sherman in the defense of Vicksburg and he was captured while commanding at Vicksburg.  Paroled on the day of surrender, he was eventually exchanged. Despite illnesses, he served through most of the Atlanta (22 July 1864) Campaign. Heading north, he fought at Allatoona (5 Oct. 1864), Franklin (30 Nov. 1864) and Nashville (15 Dec. 1864).  In the latter he was wounded and a few days later was taken captive. Having lost a leg, he was paroled until 23 June 1865.  He served as a college professor until 2 years before his death.



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