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David Lang (Civil War)

David Lang
Born (1838-05-09)May 9, 1838
Camden County, Georgia
Died December 13, 1917(1917-12-13) (aged 79)
Place of burial Old City Cemetery, Tallahassee, Florida
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
 United States of America
Service/branch  Confederate States Army
Florida Militia
Years of service 1861–65 (CSA)
1885–93 (Florida Militia)
Rank Colonel
Major General
Commands held 8th Florida Infantry
Florida Militia
Campaigns

American Civil War

Other work Florida state representative (1885–1894)
Florida Adjutant General (1885–1893)

David Lang (May 9, 1838 – December 13, 1917) was a land surveyor, Confederate States Army officer during the American Civil War, civil engineer, and Florida politician.

Early life

Lang was born in Marietta, graduating in the Class of 1857 and ranked 4th of 16. He moved to Suwannee County, Florida, and became a surveyor.

Civil War

With the secession of Florida and the outbreak of the Civil War, Lang enlisted in the Confederate Army on April 2, 1861, as a private in Company H of the 1st Florida Infantry. Barely over a month later, he was promoted to sergeant. He was discharged in April 1862 after his term of enlistment expired. In May, Lang enrolled in the 8th Florida Infantry and was commissioned as captain of Company C. He was wounded at the Battle of Antietam in September and again at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December. Stationed in the town of Fredericksburg, Lang's men stubbornly contested Federal attempts to lay pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River. An artillery shell fragment struck the chimney of the building that Lang occupied, and a large chunk of masonry struck him in the head, gravely injuring him.

Recovering from his wounds, Lang was promoted to George J. Stannard, losing about 60% of its 700 plus soldiers.

With General Perry's return, Lang returned to command of the 8th Florida, leading it in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns, as well as in the 1864 Overland Campaign. Lang led the brigade again briefly at the Battle of Cold Harbor. Perry had to leave the Army of Northern Virginia because of his wounds, Brig. Gen. Joseph Finegan and then Brig. Gen. Theodore W. Brevard, Jr. led the Floridians. However, by the end of the war, Lang was again leading the Florida Brigade, surrendering it at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

Postbellum career

After the cessation of hostilities, Lang returned to Florida and became a civil engineer. He married Mary "Mollie" Quarles Campbell on February 28, 1866, and fathered four children. He was elected as a state representative from militia troops, which contributed to the creation of Florida's modern National Guard. Serving as major general, he led efforts in increase funding and pay rates for the troops.

Lang returned to the Gettysburg Battlefield in 1895 to help stake out the location for the Florida state monument. He resumed his political career, serving in the legislature until 1901, then served as a private secretary to Florida Governors Henry L. Mitchell and William D. Bloxham. Lang was also Cashier of the Florida State Hospital.

Lang was among the last brigade commanders of the Third Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia to die. He was buried in the Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee.

Honors

The David Lang Camp #1314 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Tallahassee was named in his honor.

References

  • Civil War Florida
  • State of Florida Historical Roadside Marker for Lang
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