Ambrotype of Confederate General Lewis Henry Little – KIA at Iuka, Mississippi in 1862
Ambrotype of Confederate General Lewis Henry Little – KIA at Iuka in 1862 – This rare 1/6 plate ambrotype depicts Gen. Little in his Confederate officer’s frock coat, at the rank of Captain or Major. This image was taken some time in the spring of 1862, just prior to Little’s promotion to the rank of General. Little, a West Point graduate, served, with distinction, in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War and accompanied U.S. troops to Utah, as sent by Pres. James Buchanan, during the so-called “Mormon Uprising”, in 1858. When the Civil War broke out, Little resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and joined the Confederate Army. Gen. Little, a native Marylander, was killed instantly when shot in the head at the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi, on September 19, 1862. This image is housed in its full, original case; the case is in good condition, although the hinge needs repair, and one of the top framing sections of wood is missing. The image proper is sharp, with some flaking to the black lacquer on the back, and some minor solarization around the periphery of the image. There is an old crack in the plate, although the crack barely impinges on the image of the sitter. We obtained this image directly from the descendants of Gen. Little. Needless to say, it is an extreme rarity to obtain any early war image of a Confederate General, much less one killed in action.
Lewis Henry Little (1817 – 1862)
|Born: 03/19/1817 in Baltimore, MDDied: 09/19/1862 in Iuka, MS|
Brigadier-General Henry Little
|Brigadier-General Henry Little, a Marylander who served withdistinction in the Western armies of the Confederacy, was born at Baltimore, March 19, 1817, the son of Peter Little, who served eighteen years in Congress as a representative ofMaryland, and was colonel of the Thirty-eighth United Statesinfantry 1813 to 1815.He was graduated at West Point in 1839 and appointed second-
lieutenant of the Fifth infantry, U. S. A.; was promoted to
first-lieutenant in 1845, and taking part in the Mexican war
was brevetted captain September, 1846, for gallant conduct at
Monterey. In 1847 he was commissioned captain in the Seventh
Early in 1861 he resigned to enter the service of the
Confederate States, and was commissioned major. Subsequently
he was promoted colonel and appointed adjutant-general on the
staff of General Price, commanding the forces in Missouri. He was put in command of one of the brigades organized by Price in the fall of 1861, and at the battle of Pea Ridge was
distinguished in the action of the right wing before Elkhorn
Tavern, where the Federals were defeated on the first day.
Especial commendation was bestowed upon him in the reports of
his commanding officers; he was promoted to brigadier-general
April 16th, and General Van Dorn soon afterward wrote to
Beauregard, “I want Little as major-general.” General Little
commanded the rear-guard on the retreat from Elkhorn Tavern,
and soon afterward, when the army of the West was called to
the aid of Albert Sidney Johnston, he embarked with his
brigade for Memphis just as Beauregard was bringing Johnston’s army back from Shiloh.
Leading the advance of Price’s division, he proceeded east of
the Mississippi, and joined Beauregard at Corinth.
Subsequently when Price was assigned to command the army of
the West, with headquarters at Tupelo, Miss., he was given
Price’s old division, the First of the army. At the grand
review previous to the movement in August toward Corinth, as
his division passed before General Bragg, the latter turned to Little and said, “You had the reputation of having one of the finest companies in the old army. General, this is certainly as fine a division as I have ever seen.”
He met the enemy under Rosecrans at Iuka, Miss., September 19, 1862, and the resulting battle was fought solely by his
division. The Confederates were victorious, but while in the
thickest of the fight Little was killed instantly by a minie
ball which crashed through his forehead. He was buried that
night by torchlight, and on the morrow the gloom among the
troops caused by his death was one of the main causes for the
abandonment of the field.
Gen. Sterling Price, in reporting his death, paid him this
touching and well-deserved tribute: “It will be seen that our
success was obtained at the sacrifice of many a brave officer
and soldier. Chief among them was Brig.-Gen. Henry Little,
commanding the first division of the army. Than this brave
Marylander no one could have fallen more dear to me, or whose
memory should be more fondly cherished by his countrymen.
No more skillful officer or more devout patriot has drawn his
sword in this war of independence. He died in the day of his
greatest usefulness, lamented by his friends, by the brigade
of his love, by the division he so ably commanded, and by the
army of the West, of which he had from the beginning been one
of the chief ornaments.”
Source: Confederate Military History, vol. II, p. 169
Lewis Henry Little
|Lewis Henry Little|
|Born||March 19, 1817Baltimore, Maryland|
|Died||September 19, 1862 (aged 45)Iuka, Mississippi|
|Place of burial||Green Mount Cemetery Baltimore, Maryland|
|Allegiance||United States of AmericaConfederate States of America|
|Service/branch||United States ArmyConfederate States Army|
|Years of service||1839–61 (USA)1861–62 (CSA)|
|Rank||Captain (USA)Brigadier General (CSA)|
|Commands held||1st Division, Army of the West|
|Relations||brother-in-law of Alexander E. Steen|
Lewis Henry Little (March 19, 1817 – September 19, 1862) was a career United States Army officer and a Confederate brigadier general during the American Civil War. He served mainly in the Western Theater and was killed in action during the Battle of Iuka.
Early life and career
Little was born in Baltimore, Maryland to Peter Little and his wife Catherine on Mar. 19, 1817. He was a brother-in-law of Alexander E. Steen and son-in-law of Pitcairn Morrison. Little was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 5th U.S. Infantry in 1839 after graduating from West Point. He served in the Mexican War and was awarded a brevet promotion to captain for his service at the Battle of Monterrey in 1846. He was promoted to captain in the regular army on August 20, 1847.
American Civil War
Little resigned his commission as a U.S. Army officer on May 7, 1861. He helped Sterling Price train the Missouri volunteers that soon joined the Southern armies. He entered the Confederate service as an infantry captain on March 16, 1861, but soon was made an artillery major that same month. Little was promoted to colonel on May 18 and served Price as his Adjutant General in the Missouri State Guard.
At the Battle of Pea Ridge on March 7, 1862, Little commanded the 1st Missouri Brigade in Price’s division. In the thick of the first day’s fighting near Elkhorn Tavern, he demonstrated competence and initiative. “During the course of the battle he gradually assumed more and more responsibility until he became the de facto commander of Price’s division during the last hours that the Army of the West was on the field.” His appointment to brigadier general occurred on April 12.
Little came east of the Mississippi River with Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn‘s army and served under Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard at Corinth. There, he caught malaria and was in poor health for the few remaining months of his life. Even so, he was regarded as “a thorough soldier and an excellent disciplinarian.” At Corinth he was given command of the 1st Division in Price’s Army of the West. His peers praised his division as well drilled and disciplined.
He led his division at the Battle of Iuka on September 19. At about 5:45 p.m., while sitting on his horse behind the front line and next to Sterling Price, he was struck in the head by a bullet and killed instantly. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.
Lewis Henry Little
- ¥ BIRTH 19 Mar 1817 Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
- ¥ DEATH 19 Sep 1862 Iuka, Tishomingo County, Mississippi, USA
- ¥ BURIAL Green Mount Cemetery Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
- ¥ PLOT Area O, Lot 11
- ¥ MEMORIAL ID 11015
Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. Fought in the West under General Sterling Price and commanded a brigade at the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, where he distinguished himself. He was commanding a full division by September 1862. At the Battle of Iuka, he was shot in the head and instantly killed while conversing on the field with General Price and others.