Earl Van Horn spent his entire adult life in military service. Having graduated from West Point with so many of his generation his first real experience of battle was in the War with Mexico where he was at least thrice wounded. Instead of returning home to medals and politics he returned to more than a decade of garrison duty patrolling the frontiers and keeping the settlers safe from Comanches and other marauding indians where again he was wounded but continued to serve. When his native state of Mississippi seceded from the union he joined with her other prominent sons and joined the Army of the Confederacy to protect his home.
Our first illustrations come from the Mexican War campaigns.
Van Dorn, the life and times of a confederate general Robert G. Hartje [Nashville] Vanderbilt University Press, 1994 Softcover. Originally published: [Nashville] Vanderbilt University Press, 1967. xiii, 359 p. maps, port. 25 cm. Bibliographical footnotes. Clean, tight and strong binding. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG
Van Dorn’s military career was typical of the Confederacy in the western theatre. Often out numbered, out gunned and short on supplies whatever tactical advantages he was able to gain by intelligence would finally yield to superior force. Unfortunately his accomplishments have been minimized by the history having been written by the victors as the following illustrations show.
It is more than a little ironic that this last item – which is propaganda pure and simple – should be featured so prominently in the Library of Congress history of the Battle of Pea Ridge AND be labeled as; [Miscellaneous Items in High Demand] Meanwhile the Van Dorn’s – father and son – who contributed so much to Mississippi and the Republic rest side by side in their cemetery and all that exists of their home was photographed eighty years ago by that same victorious government;
The house was constructed c. 1830 by Peter A. Van Dorn, who was prominent in territorial and early statehood politics. Peter Van Dorn’s son, Earl, won fame in both the Mexican and Civil Wars. The building represents the Federal style of architecture, which is rare in Mississippi.