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Wharton promoted to brigadier general


On this day in 1862, John Austin Wharton was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate army. Wharton, born in Tennessee in 1828, was brought to Galveston as an infant and spent his early years on a Brazoria County plantation. Before the Civil War he enjoyed a successful career as a lawyer and planter and represented Brazoria County at the state Secession Convention. When the war began Wharton was elected captain of Company B, Eighth Texas Cavalry, better known as Terry's Texas Rangers. He rose to command the regiment after the deaths of Col. Benjamin F. Terry and Lt. Col. Thomas S. Lubbock. Wharton's leadership in the course of Gen. Braxton Bragg's 1862 Kentucky invasion earned him the promotion to brigadier general. His actions at the battle of Chickamauga in the fall of 1863 earned him another promotion, to the rank of major general. In 1865, while visiting Gen. John B. Magruder's headquarters in Houston, Wharton was killed by fellow officer George W. Baylor in a personal quarrel that grew out of "an unpleasant misunderstanding over military matters." Even though Wharton was found to have been unarmed, Baylor was acquitted of murder charges in 1868.

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