Pillow, Gideon Johnson, 1806–78, American general, b. Williamson co., Tenn. In the Mexican War he was appointed brigadier general of Tennessee volunteers by his former law partner, President James K. Polk. He took part in the battles leading to the surrender of Mexico City and was made a major general (1847). He was charged with insubordination by Gen. Winfield Scott but acquitted by a court of inquiry. When the Civil War broke out he became a Confederate brigadier general. His conduct in escaping from Fort Donelson before the Confederate surrender caused the suspension of his command.