The Burning Of The University Of Alabama~ "The West Point of the Confederacy"
Cadet Greene Marshall Labuzan from Mobile entered the University of Alabama in 1863 at the age of seventeen. Labuzan, who later became a successful attorney, took command of the skirmishers after John H. Murfee was wounded.
The University Of Alabama (UA) was considered a major target of destruction by the Northern Army during the Civil War as many of it’s cadets that graduated went on to become officers in the Confederate cause during the war. The campus was hit by Croxon’s Company, a division of Wilson’s Raiders, and was burned on April 4, 1865 after an unsuccessful attempt to stop the raid into Tuscaloosa at the Black Warrior River bridge crossing by the UA Cadets and the Tuscaloosa Home Guard. The remaining UA cadets were comprised of young boys and their instructors since many of the older student cadets had left the university to join the Confederate cause and were stationed throughout the South.
The Tuscaloosa Home Guard was comprised of young boys and old men. Only four major campus structures were saved from burning. The University of Alabama survived, recovered, and went on to become one of the greatest Universities in the United States of America.
Throughout the war the University supplied the Confederacy with a cadre of young men with military training. In President Garland’s own words, “We annually send about 200 youth, well drilled in infantry and artillery, into the field.” It is no wonder that the University became known as the “West Point of the Confederacy.”
Image W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library