Clement A. Evans
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|Clement A. Evans|
|Birth name||Clement Anselm Evans|
February 25, 1833|
Stewart County, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||July 2, 1911
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Years of service||1861–1865|
|Unit||31st Georgia Volunteer Infantry|
|Commands held||Gordon's Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia|
|Other work||Politician, judge, Methodist minister, historian, author, veterans affairs|
Early life and education
Evans was born in Stewart County, Georgia. He studied at the Augusta Law School and was admitted to the bar at the age of 18. By the age of 21, he was a county judge, and a state senator at the age of 25. With the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, Evans organized a company of militia.
Evans was commissioned as major of the 31st Georgia Infantry on November 19, 1861, and was promoted to colonel on May 13, 1862, fighting in the Seven Days Battles, Second Manassas, and Antietam. He had temporary command of Alexander Lawton's Georgia brigade from September until November 1862, seeing additional action at Fredericksburg. During the Gettysburg Campaign and the 1864 fighting at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, Evans again commanded the 31st Georgia while John B. Gordon commanded the brigade.
Evans was promoted to brigadier general in May 1864 (replacing Gordon who ascended to division command) and was wounded at Monocacy. He commanded Gordon's Division/Second Corps from Petersburg to Appomattox. Evans survived five wounds during the war.
After the war ended, he became an influential Methodist minister, advancing the “holiness movement,” a controversial doctrine that eventually split the denomination. He pastored churches in the Atlanta area, some with memberships as large as 1,000, until his retirement in 1892. Three years later, Evans authored the Military History of Georgia, heavily based upon his Civil War memoirs. He then edited and co-wrote the Confederate Military History, a 12-volume compendium. Finally, he co-authored the four-volume Cyclopedia of Georgia. Regarding the war, Evans said:
If we cannot justify the South in the act of Secession, we will go down in History solely as a brave, impulsive but rash people who attempted in an illegal manner to overthrow the Union of our Country.
Evans was very active in establishing and administering fraternal veterans organizations following the war. He helped organize the Confederate Survivors Association (a regional group based in Augusta, Georgia) in 1878 and served as its first president. He was a founder of the first national Confederate veterans group, the United Confederate Veterans, in 1889 and commander of the UCV's Georgia division for twelve years.
Later life and death
Evans died on July 2, 1911, and was buried in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery, just a few feet away from the grave of John Gordon.
- Evans County, Georgia, created on November 3, 1914, is named after Evans.
- Evans, Clement A., edited by Robert Grier Stephens, Jr., Intrepid warrior: Clement Anselm Evans, Confederate general from Georgia; life, letters, and diaries of the war years. Dayton, Ohio: Morningside Press, 1992. ISBN 0-89029-540-9.
- Nolan, Alan T.; Gallagher, Gary W. (2000). The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History. pp. 13–14. ISBN 0-253-33822-0. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
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Clement A. Evans
- Photographic gallery of Clement Evans at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 2008)
- Georgia State Historical Marker commemorating Evans' birthplace