top of page
Maj. Gen. Samuel G. French, CSA




Born: November 22, 1818

Mullica Hill, New Jersey

Died: April 29, 1910

Florala, Alabama


1843: West Point Graduate

1853: Brevet 2nd Lieutenant

June 18, 1846: 2nd Lieutenant

September 23, 1846: 1st Lieutenant

January 12, 1848: Captain

May 1856: Resigned Commission

February 12, 1861: Lieut. Colonel, CSA

October 23, 1861: Brigadier General

October 22, 1862: Major General

Maj. Gen. Samuel G. French

1843: West Point Graduate - 14th out of 39 Cadets

1843: Brevet 2nd Lieutenant assigned to 3rd U.S. Artillery. Stationed in Fort Macon, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., West Point and Fort McHenry in Baltimore

August 1845: Sailed from Baltimore with Major Ringgold's Battery of horse artillery to join Gen. Zachary Taylor and the Arm of Occupation in Arkansas Pass, Texas

Mexican-American War

May 8, 1846: Battle of Palo Alto

May 9, 1846: Battle of Resaca de la Palma

June 18, 1846: Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant

July 7, 1846: Battle of Monterrey - Commanded an artillery battery

September 23, 1846: Brevet 1st Lieutenant

February 22-23, 1846: Battle of Buena Vista - wounded with a musket ball through the thigh

January 12, 1848: Promoted to Captain and commissioned as assistant quartermaster in the general staff

1849 and 1851: Led expedition to the Republic of Texas and was assigned to Fort Smith

May 1856: Resigned his commission

Acquired a plantation through marriage along Deer Creek near Greenville, Mississippi

With the start of the war, French joined the Confederacy. Residents of New Jersey were so upset they hung him in effigy, stormed his house throwing all the items out into the street.

February 12, 1861: Lieutenant Colonel and Chief of Ordinance in the Army of Mississippi

October 23, 1861: Brigadier General in the provisional army of the Confederate States of America

Assigned to the defense of the Potomac River near Evansport, Virginia

July 21, 1862 - June 1863: Commanded the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia

Oversaw improvements to Fort Fisher and Ft. St. Philips, later called Fort Anderson to protect Wilmington, North Carolina

October 22, 1862: Promoted to Major General, backdated to August 31, 1862

Commanded a brigade and division at Petersburg under Maj. Gen. Daniel H. Hill. The fortifications were regarded as a model for defensive warfare which held off the Army of the Potomac for nine months

July 4, 1862: Led attacks against Harrison's landing

September 22, 1862: Attacks against Suffolk, VA

April 1863: Under Gen. Longstreet, participated in the Siege of Suffolk

August 4 - October 1863: Medical leave - dysentery

Gen. Johnston expressed concerns about French's northern heritage, but President Davis dismissed them stating French was a wealthy plantation owner in Mississippi

December 1863 - May 1864: Served under Lieut. Gen. Leonidas Polk in Mississippi

May 16 - September 8, 1864: Atlanta Campaign

June 27, 1864: Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

September 18 - December 27, 1864: Franklin-Nashville Campaign

October 5, 1864: Battle of Allatoona - Lieut. Gen. Hood ordered French to capture the Allatoona Pass and break Sherman's lines of communication, but was unable. Fighting was discontinued when Union reinforcements arrived

November 30, 1864: Battle of Franklin - Suffered an eye infection that nearly blinded him. He relinquished command to Brig. Gen. Sears

December 16. 1864 - February 1865: Returned home to recuperate

March 17 - April 12, 1865: Mobile Campaign

April 1865: Surrendered near Mobile and paroled near Columbus, Georgia

Worked for several years as Mississippi State levee commissioner

Worked as railroad president in New Jersey for a year

1881: Moved to Winter Park, Florida where he invested in oranges

Boatner, Mark M. III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: David McKay, 1967. p 315-316

Samuel Gibbs French. 2 November 2023. web. 15 November 2023.

Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State, 1992. p 93-94

bottom of page