BG Danville Ledbetter

   Gen Danville Leadbetter  Picture of

Danville Leadbetter was born in Leeds, Maine. He attended the United States Military Academy in West Point in July 1832, and graduated four years later, standing third out of 49 cadets. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery on July 1, 1836. Leadbetter transferred to the Army Engineers on November 1, but as a brevet second lieutenant to rank from July 1. He then returned to the 1st Artillery on December 31, and went back and forth between the two regiments and ranks throughout 1837. Leadbetter was promoted to first lieutenant on July 7, 1838,  then assigned to a joint commission of army and navy officers to identify defense sites along the Pacific Coast.  Leadbetter was promoted to captain on October 16, 1852  and spent 185357 at Mobile, Alabama, working on the construction and/or repair of the city's harbor forts.   Leadbetter resigned from the U.S. Army on the last day of 1857 and settled in Alabama. He became the state's chief engineer  and supervised the construction of the Sand Island Lighthouse.

Choosing to follow his adopted home state and the Confederate cause, entered service in the Confederate States Army on March 16, 1861, as a major in the army's regular engineers. He was sent to Mobile, Alabama, to oversee the defenses under construction. By August 3 he was the acting chief of the Confederacy's Engineer Bureau, a post he would hold until November 11. Two days later Leadbetter returned to Mobile and continued his work there.  He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel that October.  Leadbetter was promoted to brigadier general on February 27, 1862, and began his Western Theater service. In May he was given command of the 1st Brigade in the District of East Tennessee (Department Number Two), and held this position until July 3.  He next served as the Engineer of various Confederate districts and armies, and was assigned Chief Engineer of the Department then Army of Tennessee in the fall of 1863.As the Chief Engineer of the Army of Tennessee, Leadbetter was responsible for the layout of the Confederate defensive lines prior the siege and Battle of Chattanooga.   During Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's Knoxville Campaign that winter against Union-held Knoxville, Tennessee, Leadbetter was sent by army commander Gen. Braxton Bragg to aid the Confederate planning against the Federal positions. Leadbetter arrived on November 25 and consulted with Longstreet, using his prior knowledge of the fortifications in Knoxville he had designed the year before.

For two days Longstreet, his subordinates, and Leadbetter reconnoitered the Union lines around Knoxville. After a second look at Fort Sanders, the dominating feature of the Federal defenses, Leadbetter recommended to hit them there.   The result of this counsel led to the selection of the attack route and the ultimately unsuccessful Battle of Fort Sanders on November 29.

Leadbetter's last Confederate command was the District of the Gulf (Department of Alabama, Mississippi, & East Louisiana) from November 22 to December 12, 1864. There is no record of him receiving a parole from the U.S. Government when the Civil War ended.

After the war, Ledbetter went to Mexico with a group of Confederate Officers and then went to Canada where he died on September 26, 1866.  He is buried in Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile Alabama.

After the war Leadbetter fled to Mexico (as did many other ex-Confederate officers) and then went to Canada, where he died in Cliftonin 1866. His body was returned to Alabama and buried in Magnolia Cemetery within the city of Mobile, Alabama.[