Gordon, John Brown, 1832–1904, U.S. public official and Confederate general, b. Upson co., Ga. Gordon began his Civil War service as an infantry captain and so distinguished himself through four years of campaigning in the Virginia area that at Lee's surrender he was a lieutenant general commanding a corps. His fighting in the Wilderness campaign and in the Shenandoah Valley under J. A. Early in 1864 was particularly brilliant. After the war he became an outstanding leader in Georgia politics. With Alfred H. Colquitt and Joseph E. Brown, he dominated the state government for many years. He was U.S. Senator (1873–80, 1891–97) and governor (1886–90). Despite charges that he mixed politics and railroad affairs, he remained the idol of his state.
See his Reminiscences of the Civil War (1903); D. S. Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants (3 vol., 1942–44); biography by J. B. Gordon (1955).
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