Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Magruders in:
 • Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
 • Galveston
 • Galveston County
 • Texas
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In

Changes are coming to Find A Grave. See a preview now.

John Bankhead Magruder
Birth: May 1, 1807
Port Royal
Caroline County
Virginia, USA
Death: Feb. 18, 1871
Harris County
Texas, USA

Civil War Confederate Major General. John Magruder was born to a traditionally Southern family who provided him every advantage they could. He studied at the University of Virginia, then began his military schooling in 1826, attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, and upon his graduation in 1830 was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Seventh Infantry. He married Esther von Kapff in May 1831, but they were rarely together - towards the end of his life, many people were surprised to find out he was married after years of knowing him. His life was the Army, and he excelled at it, no matter where he was assigned; he served in the First Artillery in 1831, participated in the Second Seminole War, then saw battle again during the Mexican War where he was promoted from first lieutenant to lieutenant colonel rapidly under General Winfield Scott's brigade, fighting valiantly at both Cerro Gordo and Chapultepec. When the Civil War broke out, Magruder's loyalty lay with his home state, so he resigned from the Army in April 1861 and enlisted with the Confederacy. Commissioned a brigadier general at first, his skill in the field led to a speedy promotion to major general while commanding his army in Virginia. His specialty was in tricking the opposing forces into making desperate moves; at Yorktown he caused Union general George McClellan weeks of delay by making him believe Magruder's forces had an overwhelming advantage when it actually was much smaller than McClellan's. However, both his hesitancy to attack quickly during the Seven Days Battles and acting on outdated orders during the Battle of Malvern Hill caused him to lose his Virginia command and he was reassigned to oversee the Texas, New Mexico and Arizona district. Arriving in Texas in October 1862, he set up headquarters in Houston and administered his commands from there. The highlight of his career was his brilliant strategic retaking of Galveston from Union forces on January 1, 1863; however, his preference for planning strategy over direct combat caused him to be replaced and transferred to Arkansas in late summer 1864. He was returned to his Texas, New Mexico and Arizona command by Jefferson Davis in the spring of 1865, but by the time he arrived Texas was already in the process of surrendering to the Union. With the Civil War over, Magruder traveled to Mexico and enlisted as a major general in the Imperial Mexican Army; however, the Mexican empire was already in decline and Emperor Maximilian was executed shortly afterwards. He returned to his former headquarters of Houston, Texas in 1867 and there spent his remaining years as a much-admired socialite gentleman until his death. (bio by: Screwtape) 
Family links: 
  Elizabeth Bankhead M. Magruder (1778 - 1849)
  Esther Henrietta Von Kapff Magruder (1812 - 1884)*
  Isabel Bankhead Magruder Buckler (1833 - 1869)*
  Henry R. Magruder (1838 - 1907)*
  Kate Elizabetlh Magruder (1841 - 1896)*
  John Bankhead Magruder (1807 - 1871)
  Allan Bowie Magruder (1811 - 1880)*
*Calculated relationship
Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
Galveston County
Texas, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 29.29366, -94.81123
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jul 16, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 11021
John Bankhead Magruder
Added by: ronald deavy
John Bankhead Magruder
Added by: Floyd Lanny Martin
John Bankhead Magruder
Added by: Floyd Lanny Martin
There are 3 more photos not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Rest In Peace
- John D. Poulsen
 Added: Aug. 13, 2017

- HeavenlyPeace
 Added: May. 1, 2017

- BigFrench
 Added: Apr. 25, 2017
There are 77 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.0 after 47 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service