Francis Asbury Shoup

A soldier with his hand sticking into his jacket seam.
Brigadier General Francis Asbury Shoup

Public Domain

Born in 1834, in Laurel, Indiana, Francis Asbury Shoup attended Indiana Ashbury University before graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point (Class of 1855). Shoup saw action in the Third Seminole War in Florida, but resigned his commission and returned to practice law in Indianapolis in 1860. Shoup, a Jeffersonian Democrat, abruptly moved to Florida when the clouds of war were developing, much to the shock of his neighbors.

By the time of the Vicksburg campaign, Shoup served as an artillery instructor in Mobile, Alabama, fought at the Battle of Shiloh, was commissioned a Brigadier General led a division at the Battle of Prarie Grove, Arkansas, and was transferred to Mobile, Alabama until summoned to Vicksburg in April 1863.

Assigned command of a small brigade of Louisiana troops, Shoup led the men in building defenses on the north side of Vicksburg. There, his men defended against the strong assaults made by Major General William T. Sherman’s XV Corps on May 19 and May 22. General Shoup performed well during the siege until the city’s surrender on July 4, 1863. According to one account, after the surrender, Shoup heard that the 11th Indiana Infantry was encamped near his position. Many of the men of this Union regiment had been in a pre-war militia company of Shoup's in Indianapolis. When he rode out to socialize with some of his fellow Hoosiers, Shoup was stopped by an officer who wanted to know why the Confederate general was approaching the Union lines. "He (Shoup) understood that the 11th Indiana was in his front and he had come out to see some of his old friends. The officer replied, "You have seen what the 11th Indiana thinks of you and you had better get back to your quarters at once and avoid serious trouble for yourself." Though anecdotal and written decades after the war, the contemporary newspaper reaction in Indianapolis when Shoup departed for the south in the beginning of the war lines up with this story.

After being paroled, Shoup joined the Army of Tennessee as Chief of Artillery during the Atlanta Campaign. During that time, Shoup created a series of thirty-six arrow-shaped forts along the Chattahoochee River. These unique forts were affectionately called “Shoupades” by the Confederates. Shoup claimed that he designed them after the bastions he observed on the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida. Many were impressed by the defenses, including his old Vicksburg adversary, General Sherman, who called them, “the best line of field intrenchments (sic) I have ever seen.”

Shoup served as a staff officer with the Army of Tennessee throughout the end of the war. At one point, Shoup even advocated for allowing slaves to fight for the Confederacy, but it would be too little too late. After the Civil War, Shoup utilized his education and military experience to become a professor of mathematics and engineering. He wrote numerous books and articles, finishing his career as a professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 1883. He died on September 4, 1896 in Columbia, Tennessee, and was buried in the University of Sewanee Cemetery.

A bronze bas relief side portrait of man with full beard.
Relief portrait of Brigadier General Francis Asbury Shoup, CSA.


Brigadier General, CSA.

Commanding Shoup's Brigade, Smith's Division, Army of Vicksburg, April 23 - July 4, 1863.

Cost: $300 for bronze by State of Louisiana.

Sculptor: T.A.R. Kitson

Erected: July 1910

Location: Confederate Avenue, 150 yards west of Graveyard Road.

Last updated: March 25, 2020

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