Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7, 1863: The murder of Earl Van Dorn

Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn
On May 7, 1863, Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn was shot at his headquarters in Spring Hill in Maury County, Tennessee, by Dr. James Bodie Peters. Peters claimed that Van Dorn had seduced his wife Jessie McKissack Peters. Van Dorn was alone, writing at his desk in his headquarters when Peters entered and shot Van Dorn in the back of the head. Arrested by Confederate authorities, Peters was nevertheless never brought to trial for killing Van Dorn. The melancholy duty of reporting Van Dorn's death to Richmond fell to Joseph E. Johnston.
TULLAHOMA, TENN., May 7, 1863

General S. COOPER:

I have just received the painful intelligence of the death of the distinguished Major-General Van Dorn which occurred this morning at Spring Hill.

J. E. Johnston.

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