CDV OF C.S. GENERAL GABRIEL J. RAINS

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Item Code: 1138-464

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Three-quarter lithograph view of Rains in early Federal uniform. Image is clear with good contrast and some light foxing. Photographer’s backmark, E. & H.T. Anthony, New York.

Gabriel James Rains (June 4, 1803 – September 6, 1881) was a career United States Army officer and a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Upon graduation from West Point, Rains was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry. Rains served in the Seminole Wars and was twice severely wounded. Rains took part in the Mexican War and was engaged in the defense of Fort Brown in May 1846. Rains was promoted to major of regulars on March 9, 1851, and from 1853 until the Civil War he served on the Pacific Coast. In 1855 he was brevetted to brigadier general of Washington Territory volunteers. Rains was the commanding officer of Fort Humboldt from 1856 through 1860. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel of regulars on June 5, 1860, but resigned his commission on July 31, 1861, and joined the Confederate States Army, in which he was commissioned a brigadier general and got command of a brigade in the Richmond area.

Rains was wounded during the Battle of Seven Pines, and was singled out by Maj. Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill for a successful flanking maneuver that turned the tide of battle in favor of the Confederates. Rains, who turned 59 a few days after the battle, was one of the oldest officers in the Confederate army, and it was decided to reassign him to a less physically demanding job. After recovering from his wounds, he was then placed in command of the conscription and torpedo bureaus at Richmond. He organized the system of torpedoes and mines that protected the harbors of Charleston, Savannah, Mobile and other port cities, and invented an early land mine that was successfully used in battle.

Following the war, Rains worked as a chemist in Augusta, Georgia, but later moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where he worked as a civilian clerk in the US Army Quartermaster Department. He died in Aiken, South Carolina, on August 6, 1881, and was buried in St. Thaddeus Cemetery.  [jet] [ph:L]

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