Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

Leonidas Polk - Early life, Civil War, In memoriam, Polk's effects, Recent controversy


US soldier and bishop, born in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, a cousin of James K Polk. He trained at West Point, and held a commission in the artillery. He was ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church (1831), consecrated Bishop of Arkansas (1838), and from 1841 until his death was Bishop of Louisiana. He founded the University of the South in 1860. A major-general in the Civil War (1861–5), he forced Grant to retire at Belmont (1861), fought at Shiloh and Corinth, and conducted the retreat from Kentucky. After Chickamauga, where he commanded the right wing, he was relieved of his command. Reappointed in 1863, he was fatally wounded at Pine Mountain.

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