John George Walker (Notable Americans)
WALKER, John George, soldier, was born in Jefferson City, Mo., July 22, 1822; son of John Walker, treasurer of Missouri. He attended the Jesuit college of St. Louis; was appointed 1st lieutenant of mounted rifles, U.S.A., on the outbreak of the Mexican war, and was promoted brevet captain in August, 1847. He took part in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, and was severely wounded at Molino del Rey. He served in the west and southwest; resigned his commission in the U.S. army, July 31, 1861 ; joined the Confederate States army and was appointed major of the cavalry corps. He was promoted brigadier-general, Jan. 9, 1862, commanded Loudoun Heights on the investment of Harper's Ferry, and was the first to open fire upon that place, causing the surrender of the Federal troops. He commanded a division in Longstreet's corps under Gen. Robert E. Lee in the Maryland campaign, taking part in the battle of Antietam, and commanded a division in the Red River campaign under Gen. E. Kirby Smith. He was promoted major-general, Nov. 8, 1863, and commanded the district of West Louisiana in the Trans-Mississippi department, June-August, 1864; the district of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, August, 1864-February, 1865, and commanded Wharton's cavalry corps, February-May, 1865. He commanded Forney's division, trans-Mississippi department until the close of the war when he went to Mexico and later to England. Returning to the United States he resided in Winchester, Va., where he engaged in mining and railway operations. He was U.S. consul-general at Bogota; and a commissioner to invite the South American republics to send representatives to the convention of American republics at Washington. He died in Washington, D.C., July 20, 1893.
Rossiter Johnson, ed., "Walker, John George," The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, vol. 10 (Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904).
John George Walker, Background (Lowe, 2004)
[John George] Walker enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War and fought with Gen. Winfield Scott’s army from Vera Cruz to Mexico City, receiving a wound at Molino del Rey and a brevet rank of captain for gallant service. After the war he was promoted to captain and served at various army posts in Oregon, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Between assignments, he made a grand tour of Europe, visiting the great capitals of London, Paris, and Rome, at least part of the time with Sen. Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. In short, on the eve of the Civil War, Walker was well equipped to lead. His prominent family had prepared him for great things; he was well educated and highly experienced and accomplished in his chosen field; and his travels across the United States, Mexico, and Europe had given him an unusually wide perspective on public affairs.
Richard Lowe, Walker’s Texas Division C.S.A.: Greyhounds of the Trans-Mississippi (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004), 61.