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States Rights Gist

By John T. Marck

Having been born in Union, South Carolina on September 3, 1831, Gist graduated from South Carolina College, before attending Harvard University Law School. After graduation he returned to South Carolina where he practiced law.

In 1859, Gist became involved in the state militia, rising to brigadier general. In this capacity he trained and prepared his fellow South Carolinians for the war that would soon come. When his native state seceded from the Union, he worked as state adjutant and inspector general, whose responsibility it was to acquire arms for the bombardment of Fort Sumter. Gist then served as a volunteer aide to Brigadier General Barnard E. Bee at the First Battle of Bull Run. The day after this battle, Bee was killed and Gist stepped in as temporary commander of his brigade.

On March 20, 1862, Gist was appointed to brigadier general in the Confederate army. Gist then went to the South Carolina coastal defenses, under the command of Major General John Clifford Pemberton. When Pemberton's forces went to Vicksburg, Mississippi, Gist joined with General Joseph Johnston's journey to Vicksburg. This resulted in a failure for Johnston, and Gist was reassigned to the Army of Tennessee. Here Gist saw service at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and Atlanta.

Following Atlanta, Gist commanded a brigade under Major General John C. Brown during General Hood's Franklin and Nashville campaigns'.

While leading his brigade into battle at Franklin, he was killed on November 30, 1864. Gist was one of six Confederate generals to die this day.

Copyright 1993-2022 by John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author.