A Civil War Biography

Clement Anselm Evans

Evans was born 25 February 1833 in Stewart County, Georgia. He studied law, was admitted to the bar at age eighteen, and set up a law practice in Stewart County. He was appointed a state court judge in 1854 then was elected to the Georgia state senate in 1859.

As war approached Evans helped organize a volunteer company which was known as the "Bartow Guards". When the 31st Georgia Infantry was organized in November 1861 the "Barlow Guards" mustered in as Company E. Evans was commissioned a major and assigned as a staff officer of the 31st on 19 November 1861. He was promoted to colonel on 13 May 1862 and took over command of the 31st. The 31st was attached to Alexander R. Lawton's Fourth Brigade of "Stonewall" Jackson's Division during the peninsula campaign.

Evans was wounded during the Seven Days but returned to duty in time to lead the 31st still attached to Lawton's Brigade which by then was part of Richard S. Ewell's Division of Jackson's Corps (Left Wing) Army of Northern Virginia at Second Manassas. Evans would remain in command of the 31st at Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville temporarily commanding the brigade at both, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. He was promoted to brigadier general on 21 May 1864 and took over permanent command of the brigade when John B. Gordon was raised to division command. Gordon had commanded the brigade attached to Jubal A. Early's Division in Jackson's then Ewell's, II Corps since Chancellorsville. Evans commanded the brigade at Cold Harbor then the II Corps, then commanded by Early, was sent to the Shenandoah Valley. Evans was wounded at Monocacy but would return to command the brigade at 3rd Winchester, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek.

When the Corps returned to the Army of Northern Virginia Gordon was given command of the II Corps with Evans commanding the Division at Petersburg and Appomattox. Evans led the last charge of the Army of Northern Virginia before it was surrendered.

After the war Evans became a Methodist minister. He wouldn't retire from the ministry until 1892. He helped found the United Confederate Veterans in 1889 and commanded the Georgia division for almost twelve years. He published a Military History of Georgia based mostly on his Civil War memoirs in 1895. Evans was selected to edit the twelve-volume Confederate Military History which was published in 1899. He wrote two volumes himself. In 1906, Evans, along with Allen Candler, published the four-volume Cyclopedia of Georgia. He resigned his UCV post in 1910 due to poor health. Evans died 2 July 1911 in Atlanta.

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