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Allen, Henry Watkins (29 April 1820–22 April 1866), Confederate soldier and governor of Louisiana, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, the son of Thomas Allen, a physician, and Ann Watkins. Allen and his family moved from Virginia to Ray County, Missouri, when he was thirteen. His father secured him a position working in a store, but Allen found business distasteful and enrolled in Marion College at age fifteen. At seventeen he ran away from college and traveled to Grand Gulf, Mississippi, where he became a tutor on a plantation a few miles outside of town. After tutoring for two years, Allen moved to Grand Gulf to open his own school and to study law. On 25 May 1841 he received his license to practice law in Mississippi. In 1842, when Allen was becoming an established lawyer in Mississippi, President ...

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Cobb, Thomas Reade Rootes (10 April 1823–13 December 1862), lawyer and Confederate congressman and military officer, was born in Jefferson County, Georgia, the son of John Addison Cobb, a planter, and Sarah Robinson Rootes. His older brother, Howell Cobb—congressman, governor, and secretary of the treasury under ...

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Daniel, John Warwick (05 September 1842–29 June 1910), Confederate soldier, legal scholar, and U.S. senator, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, the son of William Daniel, Jr., a lawyer and judge, and Sarah Ann Warwick. He attended private schools in the Lynchburg area; after attending Lynchburg College from 1855 to 1859, he enrolled in a classical school administered by Dr. Gessner Harrison. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Daniel interrupted his education to enlist in the cavalry. He rose to major and fought in several battles, including Gettysburg. At the battle of the Wilderness in 1864 he received a wound that put him on crutches for the remainder of his life and earned him the sobriquet of the “Lame Lion of Lynchburg.”...

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Fenner, Charles Erasmus (14 February 1834–24 October 1911), soldier, jurist, and education leader, was born in Jackson, Tennessee, the son of Erasmus Darwin Fenner and Annie America Callier. Fenner’s father was a prominent physician in New Orleans and the founder of the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal...

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Gary, Martin Witherspoon (25 March 1831–09 April 1881), lawyer, politician, and Confederate general, was born in Cokesbury, South Carolina, the son of Thomas Reeder Gary, a physician, and Mary Anne Porter. Thomas Gary was a wealthy, upcountry slave owner. In addition to practicing medicine, he farmed and represented Abbeville District for two terms in the state legislature. Martin Gary was a pupil at the Cokesbury Methodist Conference school. He attended South Carolina College but was expelled along with others in his junior class for rebelling against an unpopular teacher. He graduated from Harvard with honors in June 1854. In November of that year he went to Edgefield, South Carolina, to study law with Chancellor James P. Carroll and was admitted to the bar in May 1855. Until his death, Gary maintained a highly successful criminal law practice in Edgefield. Reared a Methodist, he joined the Trinity Episcopal Church in Edgefield and became a vestryman....

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Gholson, Samuel Jameson (19 May 1808–16 October 1883), jurist and general, was born in Madison County, Kentucky. Little is known of his parents, but it is certain that the family moved to Russellville in northern Alabama in 1817. There Gholson studied law with Judge Peter Martin and gained admission to the bar in 1829. A year later, the young lawyer crossed the border into northeastern Mississippi, where he settled in Athens in Monroe County and established a law practice....

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Thomas C. Hindman. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-99327).

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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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Kershaw, Joseph Brevard (05 January 1822–13 April 1894), lawyer, soldier, and politician, was born in Camden, South Carolina, the son of John Kershaw, a judge, and Harriette Du Bose. The Kershaws were a distinguished South Carolina family. Joseph was named for his paternal grandfather, who had immigrated to America from England in 1748 and was prominent in the American Revolution. Joseph’s father was mayor of Camden for several years and served one term in the U.S. Congress. Joseph studied for a career in law in the offices of the distinguished South Carolina lawyer John M. De Saussure and passed the South Carolina bar at age twenty-one. In 1844 he married Lucretia Douglas; the couple had one son and four daughters. After practicing for several years, beginning in June 1844, he participated in the Mexican War as a volunteer, serving as a lieutenant in South Carolina’s Palmetto Regiment. In Mexico, he saw action in several battles but became ill and was evacuated back to the United States in June 1847. Kershaw was elected to the South Carolina state legislature in 1852 and 1854, and he was a member of the state’s 1860 secession convention that met in Charleston, South Carolina....

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Maney, George Earl (24 August 1826–09 February 1901), soldier, lawyer, and diplomat, was born in Franklin, Tennessee, the son of Thomas Maney and Rebecca Southall, occupations unknown. Maney attended the Nashville Seminary and graduated from the University of Nashville in 1845. He served in the Mexican War as a second lieutenant in the First Tennessee Infantry from 28 May 1846 until honorably discharged on 7 September 1846 and as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Infantry and the Third U.S. Dragoons from 6 March 1847 until honorably mustered out on 31 July 1848. The Third Dragoons participated in General ...

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Taliaferro, William Booth (22 December 1822–27 February 1898), lawyer, politician, and soldier, was born in Gloucester County, Virginia, the son of Warren T. Taliaferro, a prominent Eastern Shore attorney, and Frances Booth. After graduating from the College of William and Mary in 1841, Taliaferro attended Harvard then returned to Gloucester County to practice law. Since the age of sixteen Taliaferro had held a commission in the Virginia militia, and in 1847 he applied for and received a commission as captain in the Eleventh U.S. Infantry. As a company commander, he served at the siege of Veracruz and the battles that punctuated the advance on Mexico City. He ended the Mexican War as a major in the Ninth U.S. Infantry. In 1853 he married Sally N. Lyons; they had eight children. Taliaferro was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1850, serving until 1853, and rose to the rank of major general in Virginia state military service. In that capacity, in November 1859, he took command of the Virginia militia at Harpers Ferry after the failure of the raid led by ...

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Henry Alexander Wise. Engraving by Adam B. Walter. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-89802).

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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 ...