~About General James Haggin McBride~
James Haggin McBride was born in 1814 in Kentucky. He moved to Paris (Monroe County) Missouri as a young man, and in his early years, he became a merchant. During this time, McBride studied law and was eventually admitted to the bar to practice law in Missouri.
After marrying Miss Mildred A. Barnes of Cooper County, the McBride's moved to Springfield where he opened a law practice. Records show he served as an attorney for the Missouri State Bank in 1857. In 1859, he moved to Texas County and was elected as County Circuit Court Judge. He was in this position in May, 1861, when he received word that he had been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General by Missouri Gov. Jackson. It is said that he adjourned court immediately to accept the command of the 7th Division of the Missouri State Guard.
In August 1861, with very little training and short of equipment for his troops, General McBride led the 7th Division, Missouri State Guard into battle near Springfield during the Battle of Oak Hills (Wilson's Creek). His 645 troops were in the thick of the fight on Bloody Hill, suffering 146 casualties. General McBride and his troops were mentioned for their gallant service by General Sterling Price following this action.
Following the action at Oak Hills, the 7th Division was engaged at the Battle of Lexington, MO. Again, General McBride and his troops were specifically mentioned for their bravery and gallant service. After Lexington, the Missouri State Guard began to break up as short term state enlistments expired. Many of these troops enlisted in Missouri Confederate units.
In February, 1862, General McBride resigned his Missouri commission, with command of the 7th Missouri Division passing to Brigadier General Daniel Frost. According to information provided by his family, General McBride then accepted a commission in the Confederate Army as a Brigadier General although this can not be confirmed by current records. Family records say he participated in the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern (Pea Ridge) but again, official records can not confirm this.
It is known that General McBride set up a base camp in Izard County Arkansas and set about in SW MO and NW ARK to recruit troops for a new infantry brigade. Before he completed this venture, he was ordered to report to General Hindman in Little Rock to help recruit troops in central Arkansas. Official records for the years of 1862 and 1863 show General McBride's name in several instances leading troops in various locations in Northern Arkansas. It is believed that he was possibly appointed a General by General Hindman, as was sometimes done, although such actions were always subject to approval by Congress and the President.
In 1863, while still on active service, and likely before his commission was formally approved, General McBride became seriously ill, possibly with pneumonia. At this time, he resigned from the Army to join his family residing near Clarksville, Arkansas, in an effort to regain his health. His family started south, to gain a better climate but in the town of Bluffton, Arkansas, in Yell County, General McBride died and was buried in the town cemetery. In 1958, his family obtained a headstone from the US government and had it placed on his grave.
As a side note, Captain Douglas McBride, a son of General McBride, was killed in action at Batesville, Arkansas. The last living member of General McBride's immediate family was Captain Robert C. McBride, who was living in Houston, Missouri in 1914.
While not as famous as other Confederate officers, nor as long serving, General McBride did what his state asked of him. He served Missouri and the Confederacy with all he had to give, and died while in their service. Springfield Camp 632 is proud to bear his name in remembrance of this faithful officer.
Sources: LTC. Robert W.P. Patterson ed.,The Skirmisher (Springfield, MO: J. H. McBride Camp 632.)
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2004-2014 by Missouri Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Last modified: March 26, 2013.