VAN DORN, EARL (1820–1863), American soldier, was born near Vicksburg in 1820, and entered the army of the United States from West Point in 1842. For several years previous to the Mexican War he was employed in garrison duty, but in that war he saw a good deal of active service, distinguishing himself at Cerro Gordo and Churubusco, returning to the United States a brevet-major. He also fought in the Seminole War and in 1858 against the Comanches. When his state seceded in 1861 he resigned his commission in the U.S. army, and in the September of that year became major-general C.S.A. He commanded the Confederates in the hard-fought battle of Pea Ridge, but was superseded for failing to win it. Later in 1862 he won promotion and a second independent command in the West, and led the Confederates at the battle of Corinth (the 3rd and 4th of October 1862) at which he came very near to success. In spite of the verdict of a court of inquiry, he was again superseded. As a subordinate of Lieut.-General Pemberton he did splendid service to the Confederate cause in defeating Grant's first advance on Vicksburg at Holly Springs (1862). He was shot in a private quarrel on the 8th of May 1863.