Entering civil engineering,
he migrated to California as a
deputy U. S. surveyor, then served on the staff of an official
of the fledgling Northern Pacific Railroad before settling in
Marshall Cty., Miss., as a planter.
When both his native and adopted
states seceded in 1861
Vaughan abandoned the Unionist views he had earlier
espoused and raised acompany of Mississippians. Finding
the state unable to arm and equip his men, he led them north;
they were mustered into Confederate service as part of the
13th Tennessee Infantry, with Vaughan their captain.
Vaughan had a varied and active
war career. Elected
lieutenant colonel June 1861, he served in regimental or
brigade command during almost every major contest in the
Western theater, including Belmont, Shiloh, Perryville,
Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge, and the first half of
the Atlanta Campaign. During that period he had no fewer
than 8 horses shot under him, winning the reputation of a
"fighting officer". Perhaps his most dramatic service came
at Shiloh, where, 6 Apr. 1862, he led his troops in a charge
against the Union right, routing an Ohio regiment and
causing a nearby battery to abandon 3 of its guns.
For his able service in brigade
command at Chickamauga
Vaughan was commissioned a brigadier as of 18 Nov. 1863. Thereafter, he led 6 Tennessee regiments in the corps of Maj.
Gen. John C. Breckinridge and later in Lt. Gen. William J.
Hardee's Corps/Army of Tennessee. It was under Hardee that
he saw his last day of field service. On 4 July 1864, as the
Confederates resisted the advance of Maj. Gen. William T.
Sherman's forces at Vining's Station, on the Western and
Atlantic Railroad between Marietta and Atlanta, Vaughan was
permantly disabled by an exploding shell that tore off his leg.
After recovering from the
wound, he returned to farming in
In later life he became active
in the Grange movement, opened
a mercantile firm in Memphis, and was twice elected clerk of
the criminal court of Shelby Cty., Tenn.
Until his death in Idianapolis,
Ind., 1 Oct, 1899, he also headed
the Tennessee chapter of the United Confederate Veterans.
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