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General Reuben R. Ross (1830-1864)

"Reuben R. Ross was born in Montgomery County, Tenn., April 17, 1830. Prior to his appointment to the West Point Military Academy, he studied under his father, Professor James Ross, of the Masonic College, at Clarksville. In 1853 he graduated from West Point, where he was the classmate of General Schofield, General Hood, and other distinguished military heros.

Soon after graduation he resigned his commission as Lieutenant in the regular United States Army, and taught a semi-military school near Clarksville until the outbreak of the war, when he entered Confederate service. He strongly advocated the early formation of corps armed with muskets, picks and shovels. This was considered visionary at the time, but before the war ended almost every well-equipped army had such a corps. He became captain of the Maury County (Tenn.) Artillery, which he led into the river batteries just as the battle of Fort Donelson was about to begin.

After the surrender of the Confederate Army at Fort Donelson, Captain Ross was sent, with other prisoners of war, to St. Louis, where General Schofield showed him much kindness, taking the gloves from his own hands and giving them to his old classmate and friend in misfortune. General Schofield also procured him parole, upon which he returned home. For some reason, Captain Ross was not exchanged as early as were the other prisoners. He took part afterwards in several bloody battles, and was severely wounded in the thigh. It was said of him that "he never knew when to retreat."

We learn from the records of the Confederate War Department, now in Washington, and from the "Roster of the Confederate Army" (p. 65) that he was commissioned a Brigadier General, and commanded a brigade in Bragg's army. He was again captured in the latter part of the war, and, while being carried north, jumped from the moving train near Cincinnati; and, although badly hurt, he escaped. Returning South, he met General H. B. Lyon, C. S. A., a former classmate at West Point, who persuaded him to go with his command upon a raid he was then making into Kentucky. During that raid General Ross was overpowered and mortally wounded in a hand-to-hand encounter, dying a few days later - Dec. 16, 1864- at Hopkinsville, Ky. His wife and father brought his remains to the family burying ground at Meriville, where he now rests beside his parents, sister, and five gallant soldiers of the Confederate States Army."

Confederate Veteran magazine, November, 1896

Submitted by A C Doggett

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