Gideon Johnson Pillow, Military Exploits (American National Biography)

E. C. Bearss, "Pillow, Gideon Johnson," American National Biography Online, February 2000,
On 14 January 1863 Pillow was relieved of duty with Breckinridge's division and placed in charge of recruiting manpower for the Army of Tennessee as superintendent of the Conscript Bureau for the states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. A no-nonsense administrator, he vigorously enforced the conscript law and scoured the countryside rounding up stragglers, arresting deserters, and making enemies. He held this position for more than fourteen months until, at his recommendation in March 1864, he was placed in command of a cavalry force and given the mission of shielding the increasingly vital iron and coal regions of central Alabama against Union raids from their Tennessee Valley bases.

Pillow again led troops into battle in late June, when his small mounted division attacked a brigade of Kentuckians posted at La Fayette in Northwest Georgia. The Confederates' initial success soured when a number of Pillow's men panicked. His failure to cope in mid-July with a raid by Union cavalry that penetrated deep into Alabama finished Pillow as a field commander. He ended his military career as commissary general of prisoners, succeeding to that position upon the February 1865 death of Brigadier General John H. Winder. Paroled at Montgomery on 5 May 1865, Pillow returned to Clifton Place, old for his age, ruined in fortune, and compelled to support himself and his family on his income as a Memphis lawyer in partnership with former Tennessee governor Harris.
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