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John Austin Wharton

1828 – 1864

Wharton was born near Nashville, Tennessee, July 3, 1828. He moved with his father as a child and was educated there and at South Carolina College. He was admitted to the bar in Brazoria, Texas, and practiced law until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he was elected a member of the secession convention.

He joined Col. B. F. Terry’s Texas Rangers (8th Texas Cavalry) as captain of a company. He became the commander of that unit after the deaths of Terry and Lt. Col. Lubbock and led it with distinction at Shiloh where he was wounded. Wharton recovered in time to participate in the Kentucky campaign of 1862. He was promoted brigadier general November 18, 1862. Serving under generals Forrest and Wheeler and again distinguishing himself at Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, he was named major general, November 10, 1863. The following year he was assigned to command of the cavalry in Gen. Richard Taylor’s department over the 8th Texas, 2nd and 3rd Georgia, 4th and 2nd Tennessee, 1st and 3rd Confederate, 14th Alabama Battalion as well as a battalion of Tennessee Cavalry along with artillery batteries of Gibson and White. He took part in the closing scenes of the Red River campaign by harassing Banks during his retreat. For the remainder of the war he served in the Trans-Mississippi. Tragically, Wharton was killed in a quarrel with Col. George Baylor over "military matters" in the hotel room of Gen Magruder on April 6, 1865. Baylor alleged Wharton had slapped his face and called him a liar whereupon Baylor shot the unarmed Wharton. John Austin Wharton is buried in Austin at the Texas State Cemetery.



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