James Heyward Trapier
[[Image:File:JHTrapierCSA.jpg|center|200px|border]]James Heyward Trapier
Personal Information
Born: November 24, 1815(1815-11-24)
Place of Birth: {{{place of birth}}}
Died: December 21, 1865 (aged 50)
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Other Information
Allegiance: United States of America
Confederate States of America
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Branch: Confederate States Army
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Rank: First Lieutenant (USA)
Brigadier General (CSA)
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Battles: Mexican–American War
American Civil War
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James Heyward Trapier (November 24, 1815 – December 21, 1865) was a career United States Army officer who fought during the Mexican–American War. He also served as a Confederate general during the American Civil War, dying shortly after its conclusion.

Early life and career[edit | edit source]

Trapier was born in 1815 at a plantation called "Windsor" located along the Black River near the city of Georgetown, South Carolina. In 1834 he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and graduated four years later standing third out of 45 cadets. P.G.T. Beauregard, whom Trapier would serve under later in life, placed second in this same class. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery on July 1, 1838. Six days later Trapier transferred to the Engineer Corps, and he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant on July 1, 1839.[1]

In his work for the Engineers, Trapier helped in the construction of defenses on the coastline of the United States. He also served in the Mexican–American War from 1846–1848,[2] and he would resign his commission on February 28, 1848.[1] After tendering his resignation, Trapier moved back to his plantation in South Carolina and became a planter.[2] He also was active in the South Carolina State Militia, rising to the rank of colonel and serving as the militia's aide-de-camp.[1] As the chief of ordnance of South Carolina, Trapier "ensured that the state was well-armed."[2]

Civil War service[edit | edit source]

At the start of the American Civil War in 1861, Trapier chose to follow his home state and the Confederate cause. He entered the Confederate Army in January, assigned as a captain in the Engineers as well as aide-de-camp to South Carolina's Governor Francis W. Pickens.[1] He then began his service under Brig. Gen. Beauregard, becoming part of his staff in April and Chief Engineer of the newly formed Department of South Carolina until November. While there he aided Beauregard in the construction of artillery batteries within Charleston Harbor,[2] and on June 19 he was promoted to major and was assigned assistant quartermaster.[1]

Trapier was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on October 21, 1861.[3] He was given command the District of Middle and Eastern Florida from November 5 until March 14 of the following year.[1] He then was ordered to the Western Theater and Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston's Army of Mississippi, with Brig. Gen. Joseph Finegan taking over his district command in April. Trapier was assigned to lead the 4th Brigade of the 2nd Division in Maj. Gen. Braxton Bragg's II Corps in March,[1] and participated in the Battle of Shiloh on April 6–7.

Trapier was then promoted to command the 1st Division of the I Corps on April 14.[1] Gen. Beauregard was given command of the Army of Mississippi upon Johnston's death at Shiloh and led it during the First Battle of Corinth in late April. Trapier's performance during the Union victory at Corinth was highly criticized and Bragg, now the army commander, ordered him relieved of command and sent him home for duty in South Carolina.[2][4] Trapier would lead minor sub-districts in South Carolina for the rest of the war, performing administrative and other non-combat duties only. His last command in the Confederacy lasted until May 10, 1865, and there was no record of his parole from the U.S. Government.[1]

In November 1862, Trapier was given command of the Forth Military District of South Carolina. Trapier also commanded the garrison located on Sullivans Island during the naval battle for Charleston,SC in April 1863.(Ref)War of the Rebellion:Official Records-

Postbellum and death[edit | edit source]

After the end of the war, Trapier returned to farming in South Carolina. He died at the age of 50 during the winter of 1865 at the home of a friend in Georgetown. He was buried there in the cemetery of Prince George Winyah Churchyard.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Eicher, p. 535.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 ""Sunsite biography of Trapier"". sunsite.utk.edu. http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/cong_t.html. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  3. Wright, p. 64: Appointed from South Carolina on October 21, 1861, to rank from that date, and confirmed by Confederate Congress on December 13.
  4. Warner, p. 310. "Trapier's military accomplishments seem to have left something to be desired; he was alike condemned by the Florida state convention and subsequently by General Bragg as being unfit for command.".
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