French, Samuel Gibbs was born on November 22, 1818 in Gloucester Company, New Jersey, United States. Son of Samuel French.
Graduated from the United States Military Academy, 1843. In United States of America until May 1856. when he resigned, having reached grade of captain. Served in Mexican War and took part in battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey and Buena Vista (severely wounded).
Cotton planter, Greenville, Mississippi, 1856-1878. Colonel and chief of ordnance, Army of State of Mississippi, before he joined the Confederacy. Commissioned brigadier general C.S.A., October 23, 1861.
Major general, August 31, 1862. Served in Army of Northern Virginia, October 1861, to June 1863. Commanded Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, July 1862 to June 1863, when he was sent to join General Joseph E. Johnston in Mississippi.
Served in the West on the Dalton and Atlanta campaign. Took part in many battles, blockaded the Potomac at Evansport, 1861-1862. Commanded the troops at Harrison’s Landing on the James River (where he shelled McClellan’s army from midnight to dawn, July 31, 1862, with 45 pieces of artillery), Kingstown, Whitehall, Rome, Tilton.
Fought the battle of Allatoona, Kenesaw Mountain, defeating General McPherson’s assault, and Jackson, Mississippi, on the Meridian campaign. Home: Pensacola, Fla.
Married E. Matilda Roberts. Married second, Mary E. Abercrombie.