|Barnard Elliott Bee Jr.|
February 8, 1824|
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
July 22, 1861 (aged 37)|
Manassas, Virginia, U.S.
Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. (February 8, 1824 – July 22, 1861) was a career United States Army officer and a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War. He was mortally wounded at the First Battle of Bull Run, one of the first general officers to be killed in the war. During that battle, he was responsible for the inspiring the famous nickname for Brig. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.
Bee was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Barnard Elliott Bee, Sr., and Ann Wragg Fayssoux, both of whom came from prominent Charleston families. In 1833, the Bee family moved to Pendleton, South Carolina, where Bee attended the Pendleton Academy. In 1836, Bee's parents moved to Texas, but Bee remained in Pendleton living with his mother's three sisters to pursue his education. Bee graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1845, thirty-third in his class and assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry. Bee's first posting was to serve in the military occupation of Texas. He was twice brevetted for gallantry in the Mexican-American War, first at Cerro Gordo, where he was wounded, and then at Chapultepec.
After the Mexican-American War, Bee was posted to garrison duty at Pascagoula, Mississippi, where he served as adjutant. From 1849 to 1855, he was on frontier duty in New Mexico. Most of his time was spent at Fort Fillmore near Las Cruces, New Mexico. In 1855, Bee was promoted to captain of Company D of the Tenth Infantry and posted to Fort Snelling, Minnesota. While at Fort Snelling, he met and married Sophia Elizabeth Hill, the sister of a fellow officer. In 1857 Bee's company took part in the Utah War, where he was placed in command of the Utah Volunteer Battalion and brevetted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1860, Bee was posted to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and briefly served as the fort's commanding officer.
Upon the start of the Civil War, Bee, like many Army officers from the South, was torn between loyalty to his home state or to the nation. He struggled with the decision, but opted to stay with the South. On March 3, 1861, Bee resigned from the United States Army and returned to Charleston where he was elected lieutenant colonel of the 1st South Carolina Regulars.
On June 17, 1861, Bee was appointed brigadier general of a brigade mobilized at Manassas Junction. He was given command of the third brigade of the Army of the Shenandoah, under Brig. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston. During the subsequent battle, later known as the First Battle of Bull Run, Bee is said to have used the term "stone wall" in reference to Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson and his men, giving rise to the name "Stonewall Jackson" and his Stonewall Brigade. (There has been debate over whether this was meant in admiration or as an insult over Jackson's men not advancing.) Bee was mortally wounded as the Confederates began to gain the upper hand in the battle. He died the following day and is buried in Pendleton, South Carolina. As a result, it could not be determined whether his naming of Stonewall Jackson was intended as praise, a condemnation, or whether it was simply a misattributed quote.
Bee was the younger brother of Hamilton P. Bee, who was also a Confederate Army general.
- Agnew, James B., "General Barnard Bee", Civil War Times Illustrated, 14 (December 1975): pp. 4–8 & 44-46.
- Cullum, George W., Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., from its Establishment, in 1802, to 1890 with the Early History of the United States Military Academy. Third edition, revised and extended. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1891.
- Davis, William C., Battle at Bull Run: A History of the First Major Campaign of the Civil War. New York, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1977, ISBN 0-8071-0867-7.
- Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Aztec Club Officer Biography, Barnard Elliott Bee webpage
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