Major General John B. Magruder
Commander, District of Texas, New Mexico, & Arizona
Major General John Magruder was called "Prince John" because of his theatrical mannerisms and stylish uniforms. As commander of the small Confederate Army of the Peninsula, he staged a performance of marching small numbers of soldiers repeatedly past the same visible positions and liberally firing the artillery. This caused Union General McCellan to unnecessarily delay his advance. He thought that they were facing a superior force. General Magruder was less successful commanding troops in the Seven Days Battles. His long delay in executing orders from General Robert E. Lee in the Battle of Malvern Hill caused excessive casualties. General Magruder's poor and un-aggressive performance may have been caused by heavy drinking. General Lee reorganized the Army of Northern Virginia, and General Magruder was reassigned to command the District of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. On January 1, 1863, his forces brilliantly won the Battle of Galveston to recapture the port city.
John Bankhead Magruder was born on May 1, 1807 in Port Royal, Virginia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1830. He fought against the Seminole in Florida, and in the Mexican War. Captain Magruder received a brevet promotion to major for gallant conduct in the Battle of Cerro Gordo and to lieutenant colonel for bravery in the Battle of Chultepec. After the Civil War, he served as a major general in the Imperial Mexican Army until Emperor Maximilian was captured and executed in May 1867. John Magruder died in Houston, Texas on February 19, 1871. He was buried in Galveston, Texas which was the location of his greatest military victory.
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