Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Confederate general dies after famous last words

July 22nd, 1861

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On this day in 1861, Confederate general Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. died from wounds received at the first battle of Manassas (or Bull Run). Bee’s family had been very active in the government of the Republic of Texas. His father, Barnard Bee Sr., moved the family from South Carolina to Texas in 1836. The elder Bee’s offices included secretary of state in the administrations of David G. Burnet and Mirabeau B. Lamar and secretary of war under Sam Houston. Hamilton P. Bee, brother to Barnard Jr., served as secretary for the commission that established the boundary between the Republic of Texas and the United States. Hamilton later fought in the Mexican War and served in the Texas legislature before achieving the rank of Confederate brigadier general during the Civil War. Barnard Bee Jr., a West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran, was appointed brigadier general in the Confederate Army and assigned to command a brigade in Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard’s Army of Virginia at Manassas Junction. It was there on July 21, 1861, where his soldiers suffered the brunt of the federal attack on the Confederate left wing. In an effort to encourage his men, Bee cried, “Rally behind the Virginians! There stands Jackson like a stonewall!” Bee's colleague Thomas Jonathan Jackson was forever known as "Stonewall."

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