Hamilton P. Bee
|Hamilton Prioleau Bee|
July 22, 1822|
Charleston, South Carolina
|Died||October 3, 1897
San Antonio, Texas
|Place of burial||Confederate Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas|
|Allegiance|| United States
Confederate States of America
|Service/branch|| United States Army
Confederate States Army
|Years of service||1846–1848 (USA)
|Rank|| First Lieutenant (USA)
Brigadier General (CSA)
|Other work||Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, 1855–57|
Hamilton Prioleau Bee (July 22, 1822 – October 3, 1897) was an American politician in early Texas who served one term as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and later was a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War.
At age 17, Bee served as secretary for the commission that determined the border between the United States and the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston sent Bee, Joseph C. Eldridge, and Thomas S. Torrey to open negotiations with the Comanche in 1843. They achieved the Treaty of Tehuacana Creek. Bee served as secretary of the Texas Senate in the First Texas Legislature in 1846.
During the Mexican-American War, Bee served under Benjamin McCulloch's Company A of Col. Jack Hays's 1st Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers for a time, but then transferred to Mirabeau B. Lamar's Texas cavalry company as a second lieutenant. Bee signed up for a second term in 1847—this time as first lieutenant—in Lamar's Company, which was by then a component of Col. Peter Hansborough Bell's regiment of Texas volunteers.
Bee moved to Laredo after the war and ran for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives for the Third Texas Legislature in 1849. He was repeatedly re-elected and served through the end of the Seventh Legislature, for a total of ten years in the House. In the Sixth Legislature, Bee was decisively elected Speaker of the House with 78 votes, to 1 vote each for N. B. Charlton and Pleasant Williams Kittrell.
Marriage and family
After becoming established in the legislature, at the age of 32 Bee married Mildred Tarver, on May 21, 1854. Together they had six children. Their son Carlos Bee was later elected as a US Congressman.
In 1861, Bee was elected brigadier general of the Texas militia and appointed as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army on March 4, 1862. Bee commanded the brigade that consisted of Carl Buchel's First, Nicholas C. Gould's Twenty-third, Xavier Blanchard Debray's Twenty-sixth, James B. Likin's Thirty-fifth, Peter Cavanaugh Woods's Thirty-sixth, and Alexander Watkins Terrell's Texas cavalry regiments.
Bee was headquartered in Brownsville and facilitated the trade of cotton for munitions through Mexico. On November 4, 1863, he was forced to abandon Brownsville in the face of a Union expeditionary force under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks. Bee was transferred to a field command in 1864 under Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor in the Red River Campaign. In the Battle of Pleasant Hill, Bee had two different horses shot out from under him during a cavalry charge, but was only slightly wounded. One of Bee's brigade commanders at this time was Arthur P. Bagby, Jr., who later replaced him in command. Later, despite intense criticism of his handling of his troops, Bee was given command of Thomas Green's division in Maj. Gen. John A. Wharton's cavalry corps in February 1865. After that time, he commanded an infantry brigade in Gen. Samuel B. Maxey's division.
After Bee died in 1897, he was buried in the Confederate Cemetery.
He was the older brother of Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., also a Confederate Army general. Their father, Barnard Elliott Bee, Sr., a leader in the Texas Revolution, was the namesake of Beeville and Bee County, Texas.
- Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, Sixth Legislature. (pdf). Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Austin, Texas: Marshall & Oldham, State Printers. 1855. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2007-01-16.
- Conner, Tim (2006-10-21). "Tim Conner's Database: Hamilton Prioleau Bee" (Family group sheet). Retrieved 2007-01-16.
- John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, pp. 349-355
- Hamilton Prioleau Bee from the Handbook of Texas Online
- Hamilton P Bee Texas Biography
- Hamilton P Bee Confederate General
|Member of the Texas House of Representatives
Hardin Richard Runnels
|Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
William S. Taylor