of patriot forces to Lopez. This Junta proclaimed the inde-
pendence of Cuba and adopted a flag that has remained the
flag of Cuba.
Early in 1850, when attending a levee of President Taylor,
General Gonzales met General John Henderson, ex-senator from
Mississippi and then a prominent lawyer in New Orleans, who
volunteered the suggestion that when another movement for
Cuba's liberty was contemplated he be called upon. A few days
later several young Kentuckians, among them Colonel Theodore
O'Hara, later editor of the Louisville Democrat and author of
the "Bivouac of the Dead," called on Gonzales and tendered their
services. They offered to raise, equip, and take to New Orleans,
at their own expense, a regiment of Kentuckians. This party
proceeded across the mountains by stage to Louisville, where Gen-
eral Gonzales, in the capacity of chief of staff of General Lopez,
issued a commission to Colonel O'Hara to raise men for an expe-
dition. Representatives of several noted Kentuclrv families
joined O'Hara in this perilous enterprise. Generals Lopez and
Gonzales proceeded to New Orleans, where they met such Cuban
sympathizers as General John A. Quitman, Governor of Missis-
General Ambrosio Jose Gonzales 287
sippi. Judge Cotes worth P. Smith, of the Supreme Court of
Mississippi, Cliief eTustice Sharkey, and Judge Boyd of Natchez.
The first Cuban bonds, signed l)y Lopez, Gonzales and Sanchez
for the Junta, ^Yore issued and sold in New Orleans, and with the
proceeds the little steamer "Creole" was purchased, provisioned,
officered and armed. The bark "Georgiana" was chartered as a
transport. Colonel Bunch and Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, son of
Justice C. P. Smith of Mississippi, were authorized to raise a
skeleton regiment in that State. Colonel Robert Wheat, a Louis-
ianan who had served in Mexico, asked permission to recruit a
skeleton regiment of Louisianans. On being told there was no
transportation for him, he removed that objection by himself
chartering and provisioning the brig "Susan Loud."
There Avere 500 Southerners in this expedition under Lopez
and Gonzales, many of them men of position and means. There
were 200 Kentuckians and 300 hundred from Louisiana, Missis-
sippi and Tennessee. As General Lopez did not speak English,
the immediate command devolved upon General Gonzales. Car-
denas, Cuba, was chosen for attack. The coast was approached
at night. The "Creole" had no pilot and was taken to a wharf
when the water was shoal and grounded a few 3'ards away. One
of the men swam to the wharf with a rope and a plank and so
established communication. In black darkness the entire expedi-
tion, headed by Gonzales and Lopez, walked across a board twenty
feet long and ten inches wide. The delay was so great that the
alarm was given and the Spanish garrison had time for defense.
The railway depot was seized and roads leading to the country
occupied by detachments of Americans. The rest of the expedi-
tion attacked the Spanish garrison. At the first volley Colonels
Wheat and O'Hara were wounded; the Spanish fell back to the
Governor's building, firing from terraces and windows. The
Americans with their Cuban leaders battered in the iron doors
and took possession of the lower part, the Spanish holding the
upper portion. General Lopez, wishing to give the Spaniards an
opportunity to surrender, walked into the open court, accom-
panied by his chief of staff, but the beseiged, refusing to listen to
the offered terms, fired a volley and General Gonzales fell, struck
by two musket balls. The garrison was captured and the gov-
ernor and his officers sent on board the "Creole."
288 Stories of the Confederacy
In the succeeding fifty years many thousand Cubans gave their
lives for that great cause, liberty, but Ambrosio Jose Gonzales
was the first to shed a drop of blood for Cuban independence.
Cardenas was held that day, rejaeated assaults of Spaniards
from the interior being repulsed, but the rising of Cubans in
support of the expedition had been surprised and suppressed, and
the town could not be long tenable. So the expedition re-em-
barked. The "Creole" was pursued to Key West by the "Pizarro,"
the fleetest man of war of the Spanish navy, General Gonzales,
from a cot on the deck, continuing to issue orders. On reaching
the wharf the wounded Cuban officer was borne to the residence
of Stej^hen R. Mallory, then a prominent lawyer, later United
States Sfenator and afterwards Secretary of the Confederate
When Admiral Armero, on the "Pizarro," demanded the sur-
render of the filibusters from the Key West authorities, Mr.
Mallory, captain of the Key West militia, immediately occupied
Fort Taylor, and manned the guns. On advice of the Spanish
consul, the "Pizarro" quit the harbor. While recovering from
his wounds at Mr. Mallory's home, citizens of Key West feared
this government would surrender Gonzales to the Spanish, and
two vessels were held in readiness by two merchants of that city
to carry him to any part of the world.
When he recovered, General Gonzales surrendered to the Fed-
eral authorities at New Orleans, where General Lopez had pre-
ceded him. The charge Avas violating the neutrality laws. An
ovation was given the Cubans at the St. Charles Hotel by the
people of New Orleans, and in concluding his speech to the people
General Lopez said:
"If it be a crime to solicit the aid of freemen to achieve the
liberation of oppressed and enslaved Cubans â€” men like them-
selves â€” and to place the Queen of the Antilles in the path of her
magnificent destiny, I am determined to be a criminal now and
to the very last moment of my life â€” a pertinacious, unrepenting
and open criminal â€” for I shall implore that assistance from noble
and sympathizing men wherever I shall meet them â€” from my
judges, from President Taylor, from his cabinet and from Con-
gress â€” as I shall ever beseech it from God, with every pulsation
of my heart."
General Ambr(isi(> Jose Goxzales 289
The grand jiirv foiiiul tnu' hills ap;;iinst a remarkably distin-
guished body of men, as follows:
General Lopez, (Jeneral (Jonzales, Governor John A. Quitman
of Mississippi, Justice Cotesworth Pinckney Smith of the
Supreme Court of Mississippi, John Henderson, ex-United States
Senator from Mississippi: Laurent J. Sigur, editor of the New
Orleans Delta: Judge Boyd of Natchez; John L. O'Sullivan,
since LTnited States Minister to Portugal; Colonel Theodore
OTIara, nuijor in the United States Army in the Mexican War;
F. Pickett, ex-consul of the United States at Turks Island; Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Peter S. Smith, son of Justice Smith; Major
Thomas T. Hawkins, Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Bell, Colonel
H. J. Bunch, J. R. Hedden. General Donatien Augustin, com-
mander-in-chief of the Louisiana Legion in New Orleans; Colonel
Robert AVheat and Captain A. J. Lewis.
After the third mistrial, with one juror holding for conviction,
the proceedings were quashed.
Immediately the patriots resumed their labors, but the seizure
of the "Cleoj)atra,"' purchased and equipped in New York by the
Cubans, brought to naught weeks of recruiting amid hardships
and danger by General Gonzales on the Georgia coast.
AVhile (leneral Gonzales was recuperating at the Virginia
springs from a severe fever contracted in Georgia, General
Lopez, deceived by false reports conveyed to him by agents of
Spain, hastily left New Orleans on the steamer '"Pampero," with
five hundred men commanded by Colonel Crittenden, a graduate
of West Point and nephew of the Attorney General of the
LTnited States. They were led into a trap and after desperate
fighting against overwhelming odds, the remnants were captured.
The execution of Lopez and butchery of the Americans is a
chapter of international history. That it was not then avenged
is a dark spot on the record of this country, but is accounted for
by the tension already existing between the tAvo great factions
that a few years later met in a colossal death struggle.
The question of Mr. Calhoun's attitude toward the annexation
of Cuba being raised by the New York Journal of Commerce
and the Charleston Mercury, Cieneral Gonzales, writing to The
Mercury under date of August 24, 1851, said :
"When General Lopez made a viÂ«:it to Washington in the spring
of 1849, the Hon. J. C. Calhoun was the first gentleman in that
19 â€” s. r.
290 Stories of the Confederacy
city who called on the general. He even carried his civility to
the extent of making a second call before the first had been
returned. In his conversation with General Lopez, through Mr.
Sanchez and myself, he expressed himself as warmly in behalf
of Cuba and her annexation as has any other man in this country
either before or since.
"A short time after a prominent Southern senator favored me
with an appointment in the recess room of the senate. Mr.
Calhoun was invited thereto, as were also four other senators â€”
three Democrats and one ^Vliig. The purpose of the gentlemen,
as it seemed to me, was principally to learn Mr. Calhoun's views
upon a subject of such vital importance to the country. Mr.
Calhoun then expressed himself decidedly as to the justice of
our cause, and the assistance which would be lawfully proffered
by the American people in case of insurrection, and his non-
aj^prehension of European interference, as he had done on
former occasions. Such were the opinions and sentiments of
John C. Calhoun in the spring of 1849."
General Gonzales quoted Mr. Calhoun as saying to him in a
personal interview :
"You have my best wishes, but whatever the result, as the pear,
when ripe, falls by the law of gravitation into the lap of the hus-
bandman, so will Cuba eventually drop into the lap of the
General Gonzales had become a citizen of the United States in
1849. In 1856 he married Harriett Rutledge, youngest daughter
of the Hon. William Elliott of Beaufort and Colleton, and there
made his home.
Parenthetically, it is of interest in South Carolina to find in
"The History of Cotton by E. J. O'Donnell," a standard work
and authority in the Congressional Library at Washington, this
reference to the grandfather of General Gonzales's wife : "First
successful crop of cotton in South Carolina [and, therefore, in
America] Avas raised this year (1790) on 'Hilton Head' Island by
William Elliott. The success of Elliott caused many to engage in
cotton culture, and many of the largest fortunes in that State
were thus realized."
In 1857 General Gonzales was endorsed for the Chilean mission
in strong letters by senators and representatives from nine
General Amurcxsio Jose Gonzales 291
Southern States, including Senators Jefferson Davis and Hender-
son and General Quitman of ^Mississippi ; Senators Hammond
and Evans. Kopresontativcs Boyce, McQueen and Keitt of South
Carolina ; Senators Toombs and Iverson and ReiDresentatives
Crawford and Lumpkin of Georgia; John Forsyth of the Mobile
Register: Senators Nicholson of Tennessee, Clay of Florida,
Slidell of Louisiana, Rusk of Texas, ]\Iallory of Florida, Sebas-
tian of Arkansas, and l\v General Beauregard, the mayor and
aldermen of Savannah and many others. He was offered several
minor positions but declined them.
As a Confederate Soldier.
The cause of the South was overwhelming in its appeal to the
heart of the Cuban patriot who had made the South his home.
It was his cause â€” for self-government, for independence. The
official records show he was perhaps the earliest volunteer, and
among the last in serviceâ€” three weeks after "Appomattox."
The Adjutant General's Office,
Washington, July 10, 1911.
Dear Sir :
. . . The Confederate records show that on November 30, 1860,
A. J. Gonzales offered his services to the State of South Caro-
lina ; that on June 4, 1862, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of
artillery, Confederate States Army, and ordered to report to
General Pemberton at Charleston, South Carolina; that on
August 14, 1862, he was appointed colonel of artillery and
assigned to duty by General Pemberton as chief of artillery.
Department of South Carolina and Georgia, and that on Feb-
ruary 10, 1865, he was serving as colonel and chief of artillery in
the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The Union records of prisoners of war show that A. J. Gon-
zales, Colonel, Chief of Artillery Hardee's Corps, General John-
ston's Army, was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, April
30, 1865, in accordance with the terms of the military convention
of April 26, 1865.
F. C. AlXSWORTH,
The Adjutant General.
292 Stories or the Confederacy
The Adjutant General's Office,
Washington, September 1, 1911.
The records of this office show that in his report, dated April
27, 1861, of the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter,
General Beauregard gave the personnel of his staff as follows:
Regular staff: Major Jones, C. S. A., Captains Lee and Ferguson,
and Lieutenant Legare of the Army of S. C. ; volunteer staff:
Messrs. Chisolm, Wigfall, Chesnut, Manning, Miles, Gonzales
The records further show that in a letter to the President of the
Confederate States dated September 14, 1861, A. J. Gonzales
stated that he had been acting inspector general on Morris Island
"and since up to this day as inspector of the troops and defences
on the Coast of South Carolina by Governor Pickens." It is
further indicated by the records that some time prior to Decem-
ber, 1861, he was in charge of a siege train. .
F. C. AiNSWORTH,
The Adjutant General.
From the Charleston Couner^ April 12, 1861.
General A. J. Gonzales, a classmate and friend of General
Beauregard, has been added, by his own offer, to the staff of Gen-
eral Beauregard, and has been assigned to important duty.
Monday, May 6, 1861. Official Eeport of the Bombardment of
"To my volunteer staff, Messrs. Chisolm, Wigfall, Chesnut,
Manning, Miles, Gonzales and Pryor: I am indebted for their
indefatigable and valuable assistance, night and day, during the
attacks on Sumter, transmitting, in open boats, my orders when
called upon, with alacrity and cheerfulness, to the different bat-
teries, amidst falling balls and bursting shells. Captain Wigfall
being the first in Sumter to receive its surrender.
I am, sirs, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
G. T. Beauregard,
Brigadier General Commanding.
General Amijrosio Jose Gonzales 293
Chark'ston Cortner, Ma}' 15, 1861.
Defensive Preparations. General Beaurepud was accompanied
on his tour to the new works here referred to by many friends,
personal and military, who were consulted in reference to local
and topographical knowledge. On his return he was accom-
panied by a friend and volunteer aide, General A. J. Gonzales,
now and for some time acting inspector general.
Charleston Conner, U^y 28, 1801.
General A. J. Gonzales has been appointed and commissioned
a special aide-de-camp by Governor Pickens, with reference to
the control, supervision and direction of the seaboard defenses
between Georgetown and Savannah. As a volunteer aide to Gen-
eral Beauregard, and acting insjjector general, he has served the
State efficiently and acceptably, and has acquired a thorough
knowledge of the conditions, resources and extent of our seacoast
defenses. His services have been acknowledged in emphatic
terms by General Beauregard, and all officers with Avhom he has
We congnitulate our seaboard friends on finding their interests
and defenses in such comi)etent hands.
General Gonzales, under this appointment, will have full
powers and the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Charleston Courier^ May 31, 1861.
General Gonzales and Colonel R. S. Duryea, secretary of the
coast police, are now on a visit of inspection along the coast for
the purpose of determining suitable locations for erecting fortifi-
cations and preventing the entrance of the enemy.
The Charleston Mercury, June 24, 1801.
The Calhoun Artillery, Captain Murray, having been recently
relieved from active duty at one of our forts on the seaboard by
the St. Paul's Rifles, Captain Smith, General A. J. Gonzales
addressed them a few words in behalf of His Excellency Governor
Pickens, whom he had the honor to represent on the Carolina
294 Stories of the Confederacy
coast. He thanked them for their voluntary services, the sacri-
fices they liad made of their planting interests to protect the sea-
board; their generous contribution of labor for the works laid out
by General Beauregard; their liberality in furnishing themselves
with arms, tents,- provisions, accoutrements and ammunition,
without charge to the State.
Charleston Courier^ October 8, 1861.
Messrs. Editors: I have just returned from Port Eoyal, and am
grateful to be able to state that, thanks to the energy and activity
of Generals Ripley, Gonzales and others of their co-operators
from civil life, further anxiety is in a great measure relieved, and
great confidence is felt in our ability to repel any attack that the
enemy can make on us.
Charleston Mercury, October 8, 1861.
General A. J. Gonzales. The people of South Carolina owe a
debt of gratitude to this gentleman, special aide to Governor
Pickens, for his very efficient services in procuring arms, ammuni-
tion and equipments for the seacoast defense of the State. He
has spent two whole months in Richmond procuring orders on
the Tredegar Works, superintending the manufacture, and for-
warding the most effective pieces of our armament. The prompt
and cheerful compliance of Colonel Gorgas, the admirable chief
of ordnance, with the requisitions made, the energy and atten-
tions of Major Ashe, of the transportation department, com-
bined with the untiring patience and urgent and watchful zeal of
General Gonzales, have furnished us with artillery sufficient to
our security. Bomb proof for protection of the artillerists, hot
shot furnaces, and adequate forces organized for rapid move-
ment to meet troops landing, perfect the system. General Gon-
zales is well entitled to our warmest thanks for his very suc-
cessful labors in the part he has undertaken to perform.
Charleston Courier^ May 2, 1862.
Messrs. Editors : . . . I am very much pleased with your
notice of General Gonzales. His valuable services, varied knowl-
General A:Mnn()si() Jose Gonzales 295
edge and experience, should have been long since appreciated in a
more marked manner. I had the pleasure of having him as a
tentmate for a short lime on Morris Tshuid. and have rarely been
more impressed than by the evidence he gave of the qualities
Avhich make the soldier, and the modest demeanor which marks
the gentleman. I know, ixM'sonally, that the great chief whom
our State delights to honor holds him in very high estimation.
Winnsl)oro, S. C, March 15, 1862.
Charleston Courier^ June 16, 1862.
Lieutenant-Colonel A, J. Gonzales. No citizen, native or
a(loi)ted. has labored more zealously, efficiently and disinterest-
edly for South Carolina since the opening of the war than Gen-
eral A. J, Gonzales, as he is known to his friends. He bears the
title of general not from a militia pastime, but from active and
honorable service under another flag for the cause of inde-
pendence and self-government, now involved in the contest of the
South against the North. Although of military studies, habits
and experience. General Gonzales was not in the line of promo-
tion, not being a West Pointer, and has accordingly served thus
far without adequate commission or reward, beyond the con-
scientiousness of duty, and the flattering testimonials of all under
whose commands he has acted. In the prosecution of the measures
deemed necessary to obtain adequate supplies for this State he
exhibited a perseverance and imi^ortunity which overcame diffi-
culties that repelled others, and performed what was considered
impossibilities. A portion of the fruits of his assiduous and
importunate application at Richmond was lost â€” not through any
fault of his â€” at Port Royal, but a great jjortion remains.
We are pleased to learn that his merits and devotion to the
cause have been in some degree recognized at length, and he is
now appointed and commissioned Chief of Artillery for the
Department of South Carolina and Georgia with the rank of
Charleston Courier^ June 27, 1862.
Lieutenant-Colonel A. J. Gonzales has submitted to the general
commanding his department, plans for the efficient use and appli-
296 Stories or the Confederacy
cation of barbette and siege guns, with special reference to the
speedy change of batteries and the concentration of fire towards
any required point.
It is not proper that we should say anything of the details
which have been for some time well considered by the author who
has devoted himself zealousl}^ and perseveringly to the matter.
The Battle of Honey Hill.
From the Charleston Courier, Dec. 5, 1864.
We made a visit to the field the day following and
found the swamp and road literally strewn with their dead. . . .
We counted some 60 or TO bodies in the space of an acre, many of
which were horribly mutilated by shells. . . . The artillery
was served with great accuracy, and we doubt if any battlefield
of the war presents such havoc among trees and shrubbery.
From all indications it is estimated the loss of the enemy is
fully five or six hundred. This is the lowest estimate we have
heard. Manj^ officers are of the opinion that their loss cannot be
less than one thousand. Ours was eight killed outright and
thirty-nine wounded, three or four mortally. .
As before stated, the general command was vested in Major
General Gustavus Smith, of the Georgia State forces, though the
line was immediately under the direction of Colonel Colcock,
whose conduct on the occasion is spoken of as beyond all praise.
The gallant Colonel Gonzales Avas an active participant in the
fight, and might have been seen everywhere along the line posting
the guns and encouraging the troops.
We regret that we cannot command the space to reproduce in
full the sketch in this morning's State of the life of Ambrosio Jose
Gonzales, who died in Xew York City on Monday last.
Although a Cuban by birth. General Gonzales spent so many
much of his time and his services to the cause of the Southern
years of his life in South Carolina and unselfishly devoted so
Genekai. Ami'.i;iisi(Â» Jose Gonzales. 297
Confederacy, that he is with Southeni i)atriots held in memory
close up to the hearts of our people.
Genera] Gonzales was among the first to enter the service for
Southern independence and was with the last to abandon the
heroic struggle when the swords sheathed at Appomattox gave
the defenders of the coast of our State the final notice that the
decision was against us.
He married the daughter of one of the oldest families in South
Carolina. He leaves four sons and two daughters, ardent South-
erners, devoted to the histor}' and traditions of their countrj'.
They are justly ])roud of the active and gallant part their father
bore in making the Lost Cause a cause of honor and the conduct
of those who fought under the Stars and Bars a record of chivalry
and unselfish patriotism. â€” Columbia Journal^ August 2, 1893.
General Ambrosio Jose Gonzales, father of A. E., N. G. and
W. E. Gonzalas, of the Columbia State^ died in New York on
Monday, aged 75 years. He was a Cuban by birth and was the
son of a prominent journalist of that country. In his early life
he was a professor in a Matanzas college, but he took a promi-
nent part in the uprising of Cubans against the Spanish in 1848
and since that time has been practically an exile from his country.
He was engaged in the Lopez expedition and has had a prominent
part in the many other movements to free Cuba. He was partly
â– educated in New York, where he was a schoolmate of General
'G. T. Beauregard.
He married Miss Elliott, a member of one of the oldest and
most prominent families of this State, and at the beginning of
the war volunteered in the Confederate army. He was inspector-
general on Beauregard's staff, and subsequently joined Johnston's
army and surrendered with it.
. His life was a very stormy and eventful one. Its fruits will,
perhaps, be gathered hereafter Avlien the purpose of his life work
is accomplished and the country he loved and strove for takes
her place among the free nations. He has left sons here who will
do his name honor and his adopted State good service. â€” Green-
ville News, August 3, 1893.