A Civil War Biography

Pierce Manning Butler Young

Young was born 15 November 1836 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His family moved to Cartersville, George in 1839. He was educated by private tutors, then entered the Georgia Military Institute at Marietta when he was 15. After graduating from GMI in 1856 and briefly studying the law, Young received an appointment to West Point. He entered the academy in the fall of 1857 and would have graduated with the June class of 1861, but, following Georgia's secession, with only a few months left before graduation, he resigned.

He was commissioned a lieutenant in the Georgia militia then entered the Confederate army as a second lieutenant in the artillery on 16 March 1861. He was first assigned as on the staff of Braxton Bragg at Pensacola, Florida. In July 1861 Young was promoted to first lieutenant and assigned as aide-de-camp on the staff of William Henry Talbot Walker who commanded a brigade at Pensacola. Shortly thereafter Young was made an adjutant in Howell Cobb's Georgia Legion. Young so impressed his superiors that he was promoted to major and assigned to the legion's cavalry.

Promoted to lieutenant colonel in November 1861 Young commanded the Legion's cavalry during the early stages of the Maryland campaign. He was wounded at Burkittsville, Maryland in August 1862 then again, taking a wound in the chest on 13 September near Middletown. He was promoted to colonel commanding the Legion's cavalry on 1 November 1862. He led the right advance of Hampton's command at the second battle at Brandy Station in June 1863 then participated in the Gettysburg campaign. In August he was wounded in action south of the Rappahannock River. Following his recuperation he was assigned command the brigade in Cobb's Legion in place of Matthew Calbraith Butler who was incapacitated.

Young was promoted to brigadier general on 28 September 1863. On 30 May 1864 he was wounded near Ashland, Virginia. He returned to active duty that September and participated in the Hampton-Rosser Cattle Raid which on 16 September captured nearly 3000 Union cattle at Coggin's Point on the south bank of the James River, six miles below Union headquarters at City Point and herded them into Confederate lines.

In November Young was sent to Georgia to secure remounts and recruits. He was promoted to major general on 30 December and helped defend Augusta and Savannah from William T. Sherman's advancing army. Young ended the war commanding a division in the Carolina campaign.

Following the war Young returned to Cartersville and engaged in farming. When Georgia was readmitted to the Union and representation restored by the reconstruction acts Young became the only Democrat from his state elected to the US House of Representatives, taking his seat as a representative from Georgia's 6th district on 25 January 1868. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1868. Reelected in the November 1868 election Young presented his credentials but due to some districting issues was denied his seat. He was then elected from the 7th district in a special election and served three terms from 22 December 1870 until 3 March 1875. He failed in a renomination bid in 1874. He was again a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1872 and 1876. He was appointed one of the commissioners from the US to the 1878 Paris Exhibition then, in 1880, was again a delegate to his party's national convention. Young was appointed consul-general to St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1885 but remained only until 1887, the weather proving too severe. He was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Guatemala and Honduras by President Grover Cleveland in 1893. Young served until 1896. He died 6 July 1896 in New York City.

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