Forney, John Horace (1829–1902)

By: Thomas W. Cutrer

Type: Biography

Published: January 1, 1995

John Horace Forney, Confederate general, was born at Lincolnton, North Carolina, on August 12, 1829, and was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point from Alabama on July 1, 1848. He graduated twenty-second in his class on July 1, 1852, and was posted to the Seventh United States Infantry as a brevet second lieutenant. He was promoted to second lieutenant on October 24, 1853, and transferred to the Tenth Infantry on March 3, 1855. He was promoted to first lieutenant on August 25, 1855, but, with the secession of the states of the lower South, he resigned his commission on January 23, 1861. He entered Confederate service as colonel of the Tenth Alabama Infantry and saw action at First Manassas. He was wounded at Dranesville, Virginia, in December 1861, and was promoted to brigadier general on March 10, 1862, and to major general on October 27-a rise in rank that probably outran his abilities. After brief service as commander of the departments of Alabama and Florida he was given a division of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's army defending Vicksburg and was captured there when the city fell in July 1863. After being exchanged Forney was sent to the trans-Mississippi, where he superseded John George Walker as commander of the Texas Division. At the end of the war he returned to Alabama, where he was a farmer and civil engineer until his death, at Jacksonville on September 13, 1902.

Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959). Francis B. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army (2 vols., Washington: GPO, 1903; rpt., Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965).
Time Periods:
  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Forney, John Horace,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 14, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

January 1, 1995

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