War Between the States

Wounded and captured at Gettysburg!

Wounded thirteen times during the War Between the States!

United States Congressman from Alabama

Cover addressed in his hand


(1823-94) Born in Lincolnton, N.C., he moved to Alabama with his parents in 1835, and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1844. His law studies were interrupted when he decided to serve in the 1st Alabama Infantry as a lieutenant during the Mexican War. Afterwards he resumed his studies, was admitted to the bar in 1848, and he began a practice in Jacksonville, Ala. He served as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives, 1859-60. When the War Between the States broke out, Forney enlisted as a captain, and was commissioned into the 10th Alabama Infantry, quickly earning a reputation as a fearless fighter and efficient officer. He received the first of his 13 wartime wounds in the battle of Dranesville, Va., on December 20, 1861. He was again wounded at the battle of Williamsburg, Va., in 1862, and captured while he was in the hospital. After being exchanged, Forney, having been promoted through the ranks to colonel, led his regiment at the battle of Fredericksburg, and at Chancellorsville, where he was once again wounded. During the battle of Gettysburg, he was serving in the middle of the Confederate line on July 2, 1863, when his brigade was struck by parts of two Union regiments. He led his regiment in a counterattack that sent the enemy reeling and although wounded in the arm and chest, he kept charging. Next, his right arm was shattered by a Yankee bullet, but he still did not halt until a foot wound eventually crippled him. Left for dead on the battlefield, covered in blood, he was captured and spent more than a year in a Yankee prison. After his exchange he was assigned the command of a brigade in General William Mahone's division of the 3rd Corps which he led until the surrender at Appomattox. His commission as brigadier general dates, February 15, 1865. After the war, he returned to his law practice, and served in the Alabama State Senate, 1865-66. He later served as U.S. Congressman from Alabama, 1875-93, and was the chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Treasury. He was appointed by President Grover Cleveland to be a member of the Gettysburg Battlefield Commission, a position he held until his death in 1894.

Cover Addressed in His Hand: 5 3/4 x 3 1/4, with irregular left edge where the envelope was opened. This does not affect any of the content. Addressed in ink by General Forney to his wife, Mrs. Mary Eliza Forney, Care of E.L. Woodward, Jacksonville, Alabama. Partial Selma, Ala. postmark with Jun 21 date, and stamped PAID 5 at upper right.

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