Besides being the name of my grammar school....
John B. Gordon was a Senator and Governor of Georgia as well as a Civil War General.
Born in Upson County, Georgia on February 6, 1832. His father Zachariah, was a minister and plantation owner who moved his family to Walker County and built a summer resort hotel. Ironically, two decades later, the infamous Battle of Chickamauga took place around the Gordon's property.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, Gordon moved to Atlanta, where he studied law and passed the bar. He then moved to Milledgeville, which was then Georgia's capital, and became a journalist.
When war broke out in 1861, Gordon recruited a volunteer Company which called itself the Racoon Roughs,and headed for Alabama. In their first taste of combat, the Racoon Roughs suffered heavy casualties. During the Seven Days Battles, Gordon strode fearlessly among his men, "enemy balls shattered the handle of his pistol, pierced his canteen, and tore away part of his coat." Similair acts of bravery and leadership followed him through many subsequent battles, and after the Battle of Chancellorsville, he was promoted to brigadier general.
Although never promoted to lieutenant general, by war's end Gordon had both the responsibilities and authority of a corps commander. Back in the journalism business after the war as a publisher, his goal was "to create non-partisan school literature" that would help rid the nation of sectional hate. Gordon pleaded for Southerners "to rid themselves of ternary bondage to the North in school reform. After serving as a senator and governor for Georgia, he remained active as a lecturer in order to vindicate the South and at the same time to establish a new spirit of nationalism. Three months before his death in 1904, he published a book, Reminiscences of the Civil War, which has been characterized as a "charming, completely inoffensive account of his wartime experiences."