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Michael Jefferson Bulger
Confederate Field Officer


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47th Alabama Infantry Regiment Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel


Brigadier-General Michael J. Bulger was born in Columbia, S.C., February 13, 1806. He went to Montgomery, Ala., in 1823, and made that city his home for many years. While living there he was elected major of Alabama militia. In 1834 he was in the Creek nation and was elected colonel. In 1838 he moved to Tallapoosa county. Soon afterward he was elected brigadier-general, and held that position until 1861. In 1836 he was a delegate to a State convention, to nominate a candidate for vice-president, to run on the same ticket with Andrew Jackson. He was also a delegate to all Democratic State conventions from 1836 to 1861. In 1851 he was nominated by the Democrats to run against the secessionists and was elected. In 1855 he was nominated to the legislature but declined, and being again nominated unanimously he declined the position, but in 1857 he accepted the nomination and was elected. He was a delegate to the Charleston convention of 1860, and was a candidate for elector on the Douglas ticket. After the election of Lincoln he was an independent candidate against secession. As a member of the Alabama convention he voted against secession, and refused to sign the ordinance, which had been printed on parchment; but when it became necessary to raise an army to maintain the position taken by his State he accompanied and assisted Governor Shorter in organizing the cavalry. In the winter, when recruiting became a drag, he raised and organized a company, and went into camp at Loachapoka. With his assistance a regiment was raised. When it was organized he failed to be made colonel and went into service as a captain in the Forty-seventh infantry. After much campaigning it happened that, at the battle of Cedar Run, Captain Bulger was in command of the regiment, and during an attack on the flank he was wounded in the.arm, but he bound his arm tightly, laid it in his bosom, and continued to command his regiment. A little later he was shot in the leg and an artery severed, but the indomitable soldier stopped the bleeding by placing a corncob on each side which he bound with a suspender, given him by one of the soldiers, and then persisted in the fight until, about to faint from loss of blood he was compelled to desist. The casualties on the ground occupied by the Forty-seventh Alabama were General Winder killed, General Taliaferro wounded, Captain Menefee killed, Captains Bulger, Mcintosh and Campbell severely wounded. The privates killed, wounded and missing number 114. Captain Bulger was borne to the residence of Mr. Tinsley, where he was tenderly cared for. It appeared to the surgeons to be necessary to amputate his leg, but by stout and heroic objections he saved himself this mutilation. He returned to his home, on account of this wound, and while confined there on his bed was elected to the State senate to fill a vacancy. He served in that capacity through the session of 1862-63. After his recovery he returned to his regiment, with promotion to lieutenant-colonel. At the battle of Gettysburg he was in General Law's brigade in the charge on Little Round Top, and while commanding the regiment was shot through the chest with a minie ball, which lodged under the right shoulder-blade, where it has ever since remained. He was left on the field and reported dead, but was given good care by the Federals during his stay at Gettysburg; later he was removed to Baltimore, and thence sent to Johnson's island, where he spent the winter. The following spring he was exchanged, and returning to his command was commissioned colonel. It being necessary for him to have a surgical operation performed, he was sent home, and while still confined to his bed he was again elected to the State senate, where he served through the session and then returned to his command. His wound having not entirely healed, he was granted leave of absence, and while in Richmond at the office of General Withers, assistant secretary of war, that gentleman handed him a commission as brigadier-general. Colonel Bulger asked him to keep it until his return to the army, but before he could get home the Confederate armies were surrendered. After the war he remained at his home until 1880, when, in response to an earnest appeal of the people, he served again in the legislature. After rendering that service he gave his entire attention to his farm until 1895. At that date he retired from farming and made his home with his daughter at Jackson's Gap, Ala. Venerable, dignified, and crowned with many honors, he enjoys, in serene old age, the esteem of his people.
Confederate Military History
Side Confederate
State Alabama
Born February 13, 1806
Richland District, South Carolina
Died December 14, 1900
Dadeville, Alabama
Buried Dadeville City Cemetery
Dadeville, Alabama

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