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Colquitt, Alfred Holt (20 April 1824–26 March 1894), Confederate military officer and politician, was born in Walton County, Georgia, the son of Walter T. Colquitt, an attorney and later a judge, congressman, and U.S. senator, and Nancy Lane. Graduating from Princeton University in 1844, Colquitt studied law and was admitted to the bar in Georgia in 1846....

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Gordon, John Brown (06 February 1832–09 January 1904), soldier and politician, was born in Upson County, Georgia, the son of Zachariah Herndon Gordon, a minister, and Malinda Cox. After studies at a private school established by his father, John attended Pleasant Green Academy for a year before entering the University of Georgia in 1850. He did well at Georgia but did not graduate. In 1854 he moved to Atlanta to pursue a legal career. His practice, however, was not as successful as he had hoped, and he decided to explore other fields of employment. After a brief stint as a journalist covering the Georgia General Assembly, he joined his father in a coal-mining venture that quickly prospered. In 1854 he married Fanny Rebecca Haralson, with whom he had six children....

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Hindman, Thomas Carmichael (28 January 1828–27 September 1868), general and congressman, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Thomas Carmichael Hindman and Sallie Holt. His father moved to Jacksonville, Alabama, in 1832 as an Indian agent of the federal government and then to Ripley, Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1841, where he operated a large plantation. As the son of a well-to-do family, Hindman attended a variety of local private schools and graduated in 1846 from the Lawrenceville Classical and Commercial Institute located near Princeton, New Jersey....

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Jenkins, Albert Gallatin (10 November 1830–21 May 1864), congressman and Confederate general, was born at “Greenbottom,” Cabell County, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son of William A. Jenkins, businessman and planter, and Jeannette Grigsby McNutt. Before settling in western Virginia along the Ohio River on his Greenbottom plantation, William A. Jenkins had prospered as the owner of a shipping business that exported tobacco and cotton to South America in exchange for coffee. Albert received preparatory schooling at the Marshall Academy in nearby Huntington. In 1846 he and his two brothers enrolled at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, graduating two years later. From 1848 to 1850 Jenkins attended Harvard Law School, earning his LL.B. degree in July 1850. Returning to his native state, he was admitted to the bar and began his legal practice in Charleston. In 1858 he married Virginia Southard Bowlin. The couple had three children who lived to adulthood and, according to family history, a fourth who died in infancy....

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Kemper, James Lawson (11 June 1823–07 April 1895), Confederate general and governor of Virginia, was born in Madison County, Virginia, the son of William Kemper, a merchant and farmer, and Maria Elizabeth Allison. From 1840 to 1842 he was a student at Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, graduating from that institution with the equivalent of a modern-day B.A. During his student days in Lexington he also attended a civil engineering class at the Virginia Military Institute and, as a “Cincinnati cadet” volunteer, participated in a citizen-soldier training program as well....

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Taylor, Richard (27 January 1826–12 April 1879), Louisiana Democratic party leader, and Confederate general, was born at the Taylor family home, “Springfield,” near Louisville, Kentucky, the only son of Zachary Taylor, professional army officer and president, and Margaret Mackall Smith. Named for his grandfather, who had served as a revolutionary war officer, young Richard Taylor shunned his father’s “Rough and Ready” reputation, seeking instead to recapture the family’s heritage among Virginia’s colonial elite, which included ties to the Madisons and the Lees. A friend observed pointedly, “Dick Taylor had a magnetic personality, which overshadowed the fact [that] he was the only son of … the President.” While his father was stationed at remote frontier military posts, Taylor was sent to private schools in Kentucky and Massachusetts before his admittance to Yale College was secured in 1843. Graduating two years later, he had won no scholastic honors but instead had concentrated on reading widely in classical and military history. After spending several months trying to settle on a career, he visited General Taylor’s camp at Matamoros in July 1846, early in the Mexican War. Seeing his son for the first time in six years, the general described him as “talented” but “rather wild.” Finally Dick agreed to manage the family cotton plantation in Jefferson County, Mississippi. In 1850 he persuaded his father (who had been elected president in 1848) to purchase “Fashion,” a large sugar plantation in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. In 1851 he married Myrthé Bringier, with whom he would have five children....

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Walthall, Edward Cary (04 April 1831–21 April 1898), Confederate general and U.S. senator, was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Barrett White Walthall, a merchant, and Sally Wilkinson. When Barrett White Walthall went bankrupt in 1841, he moved his family, including ten-year-old Edward, to Holly Springs, Mississippi. The young Walthall received a traditional education at St. Thomas Hall, an Episcopal church school in Holly Springs. From his experience on the debate team, he decided to enter the law. After reading law with his brother-in-law, George R. Freedman, in Pontotoc, Mississippi, and being admitted to the bar of Mississippi in 1852 at age twenty-one, Walthall served briefly as the deputy clerk to the circuit court in Holly Springs. He then moved to Coffeeville, Mississippi, in the north central part of the state, where he entered private practice. In 1856 the people of the Tenth Judicial District of Mississippi elected Walthall district attorney. Also in 1856 he married Sophie Bridges, who died within the year. Walthall repeated this pattern of election and marriage three years later, when in 1859 the people of the Tenth District again elected him district attorney and he married his second wife, Mary Lecky Jones. Neither marriage resulted in children, although Walthall adopted the daughter of his second wife....

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Wise, Henry Alexander (03 December 1806–12 September 1876), congressman, governor, and Confederate general, was born on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in Drummondtown (now Accomac), the son of John Wise, a Federalist lawyer and legislator, and Sarah Corbin Cropper. Orphaned in 1812–1813, he was raised by relatives and had few resources other than a small inheritance. He received only a meager education until his admission in 1822 to Washington College (now Washington and Jefferson College) in Pennsylvania, where he graduated with first honors in 1825. He attended Chancellor ...