John Brown Gordon – American businessman
John Brown Gordon was an American businessman and politician. He was one of the politicians who dominated Georgia after the Reconstruction period. He was an American General, a member of the Civil War, one of the trustees of General Lee. After the war he was a determined opponent of Reconstruction and, presumably, one of the leaders of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia in the 60s. Gordon was a member of the Democratic Party, US Senator from 1873 to 1880 and from 1891 to 1897. From 1886 to 1890 he was the 53rd Governor of the State of Georgia.
John B. Gordon was born on February 6, 1832, in Upson County. He was the fourth child of twelve. Many members of Gordon’s family took part in the American War of Independence.
He studied at the University of Georgia.
Together with his father he was engaged in investing in coal mines of Tennessee and Georgia. He was a practicing lawyer. In 1854, he married Rebecca Haralson, daughter of Hugh Anderson Haralson. Their marriage was long and happy.
When the Civil War began he became a Confederate Army officer. He rose to the rank of lieutenant general.
After the war Gordon was active in business, including railroads and life insurance.
In 1873 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1880 he suddenly resigned. Gordon return to Georgia and became engaged in business activity again.
In 1886 he was elected governor. In 1891 the legislature sent him to the Senate, where he continued to support business interests.
He died on January 9, 1904 in Miami.
Attack of Gordon’s divisions at Appomattox is mentioned in a poem The Last Attack at Appomattox by Henry Stockard:
They formed – that Carolina band –
With Grimes, the Spartan, in command.
And, at the word of Gordan,
Through splintered fire and stifling smoke –
They struck with lightning’s scathing stoke, –
Those doomed and desperate men – and broke
Across the iron cordon.