The son of James Gaines, Revolutionary soldier and relative of five Presidents, General Gaines (1777-1849) was born in Virginia. From 1801 to 1804 he built the military highway from Nashville, Tenn., to Natchez, Miss. He made the arrest of Aaron Burr in 1807 and was a witness at his trial. For the defense of Fort Erie in 1814 against a long, heavy British attack, he was brevetted Major-General and given the thanks of Congress. He fought in the Seminole and Creek Wars and was in command of the Western Department of the Army in the Mexican War. A pioneer advocate of military highways and steamboat transportation, he was an American patriot.