Daniel Chevillette Govan Bio-Sketch


Name: Daniel Chevillette Govan
Rank: Brigadier General
Education: South Carolina College (Now University of South Carolina)
Birth Date: July 4, 1829
Birth Place: Northampton County, North Carolina
Death Date: March 12, 1911
Death Place: Memphis, Tennessee

Daniel Chevillette Govan was born in Northampton County, North Carolina on July 4, 1829. His father was a United States Representative from South Carolina and in 1832 relocated his family to Mississippi. Govan grew up in Marshall County, Mississippi and received his education from private tutoring before enrolling in South Carolina College. He graduated from college in 1848 and thereafter pursued his dreams of becoming rich in the gold rush. He headed out west to California in 1849 with his cousin Benjamin McCulloch. Govan was elected deputy sheriff of Sacramento in 1850. He returned to Mississippi in 1852 and became a planter. He married Mary F. Otey in December of 1853. They would eventually have 14 children together. Govan and family relocated to Helena, Arkansas in 1860 where he continued his career as a planter.

With the secession of Arkansas in 1861, Govan offered his services to the state. He was appointed a Captain in a company of men he raised for the Southern cause. He was subsequently appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Arkansas Regiment in June 1861. In January 1862 he became Colonel of the 2nd Arkansas.

Govan saw action in April 1862 during the Battle of Shiloh. He also participated in the Kentucky Campaign fighting in October at the Battle of Perryville with General Smith’s men.  Govan and the 2nd Arkansas fought in the Battle of Stones River that winter and saw more action in 1863 at the Battle of Chickamauga. Patrick Cleburne would give high praise of Govan for his actions in the Battle of Ringgold Gap. Govan was promoted to Brigadier General on December 29, 1863. His brigade consisted of the 5th, 6th 7th and 8th Arkansas Infantry Regiments.  He fought in the Atlanta Campaign before his capture at the Battle of Jonesborough. He was exchanged a month later and returned to the Army of Tennessee. Govan went on to fight in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee and then the Battle of Nashville where he was wounded in the throat. He participated in the Carolina’s Campaign and ended the war with the surrender of General Joseph Johnston at Bennett Place in Durham North Carolina in April 1865.

After the war’s conclusion, Govan returned to Arkansas and continued farming. He eventually moved to Washington State and became an Indian Agent at the Tulalip Agency in 1894. He died in 1911 at Memphis, Tennessee. His remains were taken to the Hillcrest Cemetery in Holly Springs, Mississippi where they were interred.