Murdered at his headquarters in 1863 by a jealous husband!
With imprint of Vannerson & Jones, Richmond, Va.
(1820-63) Graduated in the West Point class of 1842 with James Longstreet. He saw service in the Indian campaigns and was brevetted captain and major for gallantry in the Mexican War. He resigned from the U.S. Army on Jan. 31, 1861, in order to join the Confederacy. Commissioned brigadier general on June 5, 1861, he was assigned to Texas where some of the Union forces there surrendered to him. Promoted to major general on Sept. 19, 1861. The following January he was appointed commander of the Army of the West in the Trans-Mississippi theater where he fought at Elkhorn Tavern. Transferred to the Army of Mississippi, he served at Corinth and Vicksburg. Placed in charge of General John C. Pemberton's cavalry, he destroyed General Grant's supply depots at Holly Springs, Miss., an important achievement in disrupting Grant's Vicksburg operations. He was murdered in his headquarters on May 7, 1863 by Doctor James B. Peters, who alleged Van Dorn had violated the sanctity of his home! While stationed at Spring Hill, General Van Dorn was often seen in the company of Jessie McKissack Peters, the young wife of Doctor Peters who was in his late forties. The dashing Van Dorn was considered to be a ladies' man and Mrs. Peters was frequently seen as the general's riding partner. The jealous Doctor Peters decided to pay a call on General Van Dorn at his headquarters in the Martin Cheairs home and shot the general dead as he sat behind his desk. Peters immediately fled the area and found sanctuary within the Union lines at Franklin, Tennessee, and justified the murder of General Van Dorn for violating the sanctity of his home. The general was originally buried at Spring Hill in the family plot of his wife, but his remains were later sent to Port Gibson in 1902 and he was re-interred in Wintergreen Cemetery.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 3/8 x 3 13/16 card. Bust view in Confederate uniform. Bottom of the mount is slightly trimmed. Light age toning and minor wear. Backmark: Vannerson & Jones, Photographic Artists, No. 77 Main St., Richmond, Va., with a pair of 1 cent, U.S. Inter. Rev. Proprietary tax stamps with bust view of George Washington and 1865 date handwritten in ink on both stamps. Scarce and very desirable with the Vannerson & Jones, Richmond, Va. imprint. This is probably the best known portrait in uniform of General Van Dorn, and most likely the last photograph he ever had taken!