CDV OF C.S. GENERAL LEONIDAS POLK

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Item Code: 1138-448

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Lithograph cdv of Polk in dress uniform with epaulettes. Image is clear with good contrast. Printed identification on lower edge of mount. Photographer’s backmark, E. & H.T. Anthony, New York, from Brady’s negative.

Leonidas Polk (April 10, 1806 – June 14, 1864) was a bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana and founder of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America, which separated from the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. He was a slaveholding planter in Maury County, Tennessee, and a second cousin of President James K. Polk. He resigned his ecclesiastical position to become a major general in the Confederate army, when he was called "Sewanee's Fighting Bishop".

In April 1862, Polk commanded the First Corps of Albert Sidney Johnston's Army of Mississippi at the Battle of Shiloh. During the invasion of Kentucky by Bragg and Maj. Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith, Polk was in temporary command of the Army of Mississippi.

At the Battle of Perryville, Polk's right wing constituted the main attacking force against Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio, but Polk was reluctant to attack the small portion of Buell's army that faced him until Bragg arrived at the battlefield.

Bragg relieved Polk of his command and ordered him to Atlanta to await further orders. Although Polk protested the "arbitrary and unlawful order" to the Secretary of War and demanded a court of inquiry, he was not restored to his position and Davis once again retained Bragg in army command, despite the protestations of a number of his subordinate generals.

President Davis transferred his friend Polk to command the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana (December 23, 1863 – January 28, 1864) and then the Department of Alabama and East Mississippi (January 28 – May 4, 1864), giving him effective command of the state of Mississippi. In 1864 he was ordered to take his forces and join with Johnston in resisting Sherman's advance in the Atlanta Campaign. He assumed command of the Third Corps of the Army of Tennessee on May 4. His command remained commonly known as the "Army of Mississippi".

On June 14, 1864, Polk was scouting enemy positions near Marietta, Georgia, with his staff when he was killed in action by a Federal artillery shell at Pine Mountain. The shell struck Polk's left arm, went through his chest, and exited hitting his right arm, then exploded against a tree; it nearly cut Polk in two.  [jet] [PH:L]

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