Battle of Bloody Lane
John Brown Gordon was born on February 6, 1832 in Upson County, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia but opted to drop out to study law. Gordon passed the Georgia Bar in 1854 and began his short-lived career as a lawyer. Later that year Gordon married Rebecca “Fanny” Haralson (9.18.1837-4.28.1931). Abandoning his legal career, Gordon dabbled in various occupations before the Civil War erupted.
Gordon was one of the least experienced men to enter the ranks; however, he ended the war as Robert E. Lee’s most trusted soldiers. During the “Battle of Bloody Lane,” Gordon was heavily wounded (five times). Gordon is credited as stating: “Until the sun goes down or victory is won.” His faithful wife, Fanny, nursed him back to health whereupon he quickly returned to service. On May 14, 1864, Gordon was conferred as Major General of the CSA.
Fanny was an active member of the Atlanta Ladies’ Memorial Association, a sub-set of the organization credited with locating and burying the Confederate soldiers in proper graves. Gordon is widely believed to have presented the founding documents of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and becoming the titular leader (Grand Dragon) at the national convention held in Nashville, Tennessee in April 1867. Gordon became politically active and served as a U.S. Senator (1873-1880, 1891-1897) and Governor (1886-1890). A prominent Democrat, Gordon is honored with a statue at the Georgia Capitol.
Gordon died in Miami, Florida, on January, 9, 1904, with Fanny by his side.