Friday, September 23, 2011

He Made Mines

Confederate Gabriel James Rains was promoted to Brigadier General on September 23rd 1861.

Gabriel James Rains was born June 4th 1803 in New Bern, North Carolina, the son of Gabriel Manigault and Ester [Ambrose] Rains.  He attended West Point and graduated with the class of 1827.  Rains served in many post in the United States Army and fought in the Mexican American War and Seminole Wars.  He was wounded twice during the Indian wars.

Rains resigned as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United State Army and join the Confederate Army on July 31st 1861.  He was assigned to Daniel Harvey Hill’s division and made a Confederate Brigadier General September 23rd 1861.  Rains developed one of the first successful anit-personal mines in 1862.  He used artillery shells with a trip wire.  The first casualty of Rains’ device was a scout on horseback on a road in the vicinity of Williamsburg on May 4th 1862.  Rains was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pine and was removed from field command.  After this he was assigned to the Confederate conscription and torpedo bureaus.  He set up a system of torpedoes to protect the Charleston, Mobile and Savannah harbors.

After the war Rains lived for a time in August, Georgia before moving to Aiken, South Carolina.  He died in Aiken September 6th 1881 from the lasting effect of wounds received in the Seminole Wars.

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