Monday, February 14, 2011
Killed Over A Twenty Year Fight
St John Richardson Liddell was born September 6th 1815 on his families plantation near Woodville, Mississippi. He attended the local school, where he was a classmate of Jefferson Davis. He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1837, but resigned before graduating. Liddell set up his own plantation “Llanda” near Harrisonburg, Louisiana.
After the Civil War started and Louisiana secessed, Liddell enlisted in the Confederate Army as a Colonel. During the early part of the war Liddell served as a staff officer for Generals William Joseph Hardee and Albert Sidney Johnston. He was promoted to Brigadier General July 17th 1862 and given command of the Arkansas Brigade in Cleburne’s division of the Army of Tennessee. They saw action during the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, where his son was mortally wounded. Liddell turned down a promotion to Major General in hopes of getting a command closer to his plantation. After Chattanooga Liddell was transferred to District of Northeastern Louisiana, where he commanded during the 1864 Red River Campaign. In December 1864 he wrote to Confederate Senator Edward Sarrow suggesting emancipation of slave in order secure foreign assistance with the war. Liddell took on Union Major General Edward R S Canby in the Battle of Spanish Fort, where he was captured April 9th 1865.
After the war Liddell began writing a memoir in 1866 which was critical of Confederate leadership. The memoir was a collection of letters and battlefield records, which he hadn’t brought together at the time of his death. On February 14th 1870 while having dinner on a steamboat, Liddell was shot to death by Confederate Colonel Charles Jones. The murder was the ending to a twenty year real-estate dispute.