Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Earl Van Dorn is Killed

Van Dorn

Earl Van Dorn was one of the leading Confederate commanders in the West. He had been defeated as an army commander at the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, but had redeemed some of his reputation as a cavalry commander. But 150 years ago today his career would come to an end. Van Dorn had a reputation as a womanizer, and he once said, "I hate all men, and were it not for the women, I should not fight at all." Dr. James Bodie Peters thought that reputation was not unfounded, because he believed his wife had an affair with Van Dorn. It was on this day that Peters decided that Van Dorn must die. Riding to the general's headquarters at Ferguson Hall, he had no difficult obtaining entrance as he was known to the staff. Walking up to Van Dorn, who was writing at his desk, he shot him through the head. He was able to escape the scene, but was later arrested by Confederate authorities. He was never charged for the murder.

The site of Van Dorn's death


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