Brig. Gen. John Adams was a native Tennessean and West Point (1846) graduate who had won a brevet with the dragoons in the Mexican War. Commanding a brigade in Loring's Division throughout most of the civil war, Adams followed Leonidas Polk to Mississippi. In the midst of the deadliest fighting around the cotton gin, witnesses recall seeing the conspicuous Adams astride his white steed, Old Charley. Well out in front of his brigade, he dashed towards the Federal lines, seemingly impervious to the hail of bullets. Spurring his mount to jump the parapets, the horse came crashing down squarely on top of them, dead. Adams fell from the horse and into the ditches, his body riddled with nine bullets. Breathing his last, Adams was to say "It is the fate of a soldier to die for his country."