George Gibbs Dibrell

George Gibbs Dibrell
George Gibbs Dibrell - Brady-Handy.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1885
Preceded byWilliam Crutchfield
Succeeded byJohn R. Neal
Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1822-04-12)April 12, 1822
Sparta, Tennessee
DiedMay 9, 1888(1888-05-09) (aged 66)
Sparta, Tennessee
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Mary E. Leftwich Dibrell
ChildrenWamon L. Dibrell
Frank Simpson Dibrell
Alma materEast Tennessee University
Professionlawyer, farmer, merchant, judge, banker, railroad executive
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Branch/service Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–1865
RankBrigadier General
Unit25th Tennessee Infantry
Commands8th Tennessee Cavaly
Dibrell's Cavalry Brigade
Dibrell's Cavalry Division
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

George Gibbs Dibrell (April 12, 1822 – May 9, 1888) was an American lawyer and a five-term member of the United States House of Representatives from the 3rd Congressional District of Tennessee. He also served as a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and as a railroad executive.


Dibrell was born in Sparta in White County, Tennessee. He attended the public schools and graduated from East Tennessee University in Knoxville in 1843. He married Mary E. Leftwick in 1842 and they had seven sons and one daughter.[1] He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1843, and established a legal practice.


While engaged in agricultural and mercantile pursuits, Dibrell was elected clerk of the branch of the Bank of Tennessee at Sparta. He was a justice of the peace and a county clerk for White County for many years. He was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1861.

General Dibrell

Dibrell volunteered in the Confederate States Army and served from 1861 to 1865. He rose from private in the 25th Tennessee Infantry to lieutenant colonel of that regiment in August 1861. He fought in the Mill Springs campaign and at the Siege of Corinth. Dibrell later organized the White County "Partisan Rangers," raised the 8th Tennessee Cavalry, and served as its first colonel. Commanding a brigade, he played a prominent role in the defense of the important saltworks during the Battle of Saltville. He served under noted cavalry generals Nathan Bedford Forrest and Joseph Wheeler.[2]

Promoted to brigadier general in early 1865, Dibrell commanded a division under Wheeler during the Carolinas Campaign and its climatic Battle of Bentonville. He accompanied the flight of the Confederate government following the evacuation and fall of Richmond in April 1865, having charge of protecting the national archives of the Confederacy and escorting President Jefferson Davis from Greensboro, North Carolina into Georgia. He was finally captured and paroled near Washington, Georgia, on May 9, 1865.

Owner of over fifteen thousand acres in White County, he established the Bon Air Coal & Coke Company, which became one of the county's leading industries and largest employers. Also a key figure in the development of the Southwestern Railroad, which connected Sparta with the Nashville and Chattanooga line, he was President of that railroad in 1869. He was a delegate to the Tennessee state constitutional convention in 1870.[3]

Elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth and the four succeeding Congresses, Dibrell served from March 4, 1875 to March 3, 1885.[4] He was not a candidate for renomination in 1884 and resumed agriculture and business pursuits, including the development of several coal mines.


Dibrell died in Sparta, Tennessee, on May 9, 1888 (age 66 years, 27 days). He is interred at the Old Sparta Cemetery.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "George Gibbs Dibrell". Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  2. ^ "George Gibbs Dibrell". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  3. ^ "George Gibbs Dibrell". Tennessee Historical Society. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  4. ^ "George Gibbs Dibrell". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  5. ^ "George Gibbs Dibrell". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 16 April 2013.


External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Crutchfield
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
John R. Neal