Hamilton Prioleau Bee
Son of Barnard E. Bee, Sr. and Ann Wragg Bee
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Historical records matching Brig. General Hamilton P. Bee (CSA)
About Brig. General Hamilton P. Bee (CSA)
Hamilton Prioleau Bee (July 22, 1822 – October 3, 1897) was an American politician in early Texas who served one term as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and later was a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War.
Bee was born in Charleston, South Carolina, to Ann Wragg Fayssoux and Barnard E. Bee, Sr. His family moved to Texas when he was 14. At age 17, Bee served as secretary for the commission that determined the border between the United States and the Republic of Texas. Sam Houston sent Bee, Joseph C. Eldridge, and Thomas S. Torrey to open negotiations with the Comanches in 1843, which eventually resulted in the Treaty of Tehuacana Creek. Bee was secretary of the Texas Senate in the First Texas Legislature in 1846.
During the Mexican-American War, Bee served under Benjamin McCulloch's Company A of Col. Jack Hays's 1st Regiment of Texas Mounted Volunteers for a time, but then transferred to Mirabeau B. Lamar's Texas cavalry company as a second lieutenant. Bee signed up for a second term in 1847—this time as first lieutenant—in Lamar's Company, which was by then a component of Col. Peter Hansborough Bell's regiment of Texas volunteers.
Bee moved to Laredo after the war and ran for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives for the Third Texas Legislature in 1849. He served through the end of the Seventh Legislature for a total of ten years in the House. In the Sixth Legislature, Bee was decisively elected Speaker of the House with 78 votes, to 1 vote each for N. B. Charlton and Pleasant Williams Kittrell.
In 1861, Bee was elected brigadier general of the Texas militia and appointed as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army on March 4, 1862. Bee commanded the brigade that consisted of Carl Buchel's First, Nicholas C. Gould's Twenty-third, Xavier Blanchard Debray's Twenty-sixth, James B. Likin's Thirty-fifth, Peter Cavanaugh Woods's Thirty-sixth, and Alexander Watkins Terrell's Texas cavalry regiments.
Bee was headquartered in Brownsville and facilitated the trade of cotton for munitions through Mexico. On November 4, 1863, he was forced to abandon Brownsville in the face of a Union expeditionary force under Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks. Bee was transferred to a field command in 1864 under Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor in the Red River Campaign. In the Battle of Pleasant Hill, Bee had two different horses shot out from under him during a cavalry charge, but was only slightly wounded. One of Bee's brigade commanders at this time was Arthur P. Bagby, Jr., who later replaced him in command. Later, despite intense criticism of his handling of his troops, Bee was given command of Thomas Green's division in Maj. Gen. John A. Wharton's cavalry corps in February 1865. After that time, he commanded an infantry brigade in Gen. Samuel B. Maxey's division.
After the war, Bee lived in a self-imposed exile in Mexico until 1876. He returned to live in San Antonio, where he died. He is buried there in the Confederate Cemetery. Bee married Mildred Tarver on May 21, 1854, and together they had six children.
He was the older brother of Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., also a Confederate Army general. Their father, Barnard Elliott Bee, Sr., a leader in the Texas Revolution, was the namesake of Beeville and Bee County, Texas.