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Barksdale, William (21 August 1821–03 July 1863), congressman and Confederate officer, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, the son of William Barksdale and Nancy Hervey Lester, farmers. He was educated in the local schools and briefly attended the University of Nashville. After his father’s death, William and his three brothers moved in 1837 to Mississippi, where they began separate careers. William settled near Columbus, read law, was admitted to the bar, and invested in land and a small number of slaves before he was twenty-five years old. During the Mexican War, he was appointed captain and served as a commissary officer under General ...

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Bonham, Milledge Luke (25 December 1813–27 August 1890), governor, congressman, and soldier, was born in South Carolina’s Edgefield District, the son of James Bonham and Sophie Smith, planters. His father died when he was two, and his mother saw to his education. Bonham attended private academies before graduating from South Carolina College in 1834. He entered the legal profession, engaged in local politics, and became prominent in state military affairs, rising to the rank of major general of militia. He led a brigade of Palmetto State volunteers in the Seminole War of 1836, a position that helped win him a stint in the state house of representatives (1840–1844). In 1845 he married Ann Griffin; they had fourteen children....

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Chalmers, James Ronald (11 January 1831–09 April 1898), Confederate general and U.S. congressman, was born in Halifax County, Virginia, the son of Joseph W. Chalmers, a lawyer, and Fannie Henderson. In 1839 the family moved to Holly Springs, Mississippi; his father became a prominent attorney there and served in the U.S. Senate. James Chalmers attended South Carolina College, graduating in 1851. Returning to Holly Springs, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1853. Between 1853 and 1858 he practiced law in Holly Springs. In 1858 he was elected district attorney and served in this office until 1861. He married Rebecca Arthur around 1865; they had one daughter. A Democrat in politics, he supported secession after Lincoln’s election and served as chairman of the committee on military affairs in the state convention of 1861 that took Mississippi out of the Union....

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Cook, Philip (30 July 1817–20 May 1894), soldier and congressman, was born in Twiggs County, Georgia, the son of Philip Cook, a cotton planter and former field officer in the Eighth U.S. Infantry, and Martha Wooten. Cook was educated at a local academy, which he left in 1836 to join a volunteer company recruited for service in Florida during the Seminole Wars. When his enlistment was up, he attended Oglethorpe University in Milledgeville, Georgia, and the law school of the University of Virginia, graduating from the latter in 1841. The following year he married Sara Lumpkin; they had two children. Thereafter, except for three terms in the state legislature, one in the lower house (1854) and two in the senate (1859–1860, 1863–1864), Cook practiced law in the town of Oglethorpe....

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Gartrell, Lucius Jeremiah (07 January 1821–07 April 1891), soldier and U.S. and Confederate congressman, was born in Wilkes County, Georgia, the son of Joseph Gartrell, Jr., a planter and merchant, and Eliza Boswell. After attending the state university and Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, Gartrell read law in the Washington, Georgia, office of another future Confederate commander, ...

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Herbert, Hilary Abner (12 March 1834–06 March 1919), Confederate soldier, congressman, and secretary of the navy, was born in Laurensville, South Carolina, the son of Thomas Edward Herbert and Dorothy Teague Young, teachers and slaveholding farmers. The Herberts moved to Alabama in 1846, and Hilary matriculated as a sophomore at the state university in 1853 only to quit that same year, along with most of his class, in protest against harsh discipline. He attended the University of Virginia from October 1854 to February 1856 before a stomach ailment forced his withdrawal. Eventually he read law in Alabama, practicing in Greenville until 1861....

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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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Hunton, Eppa (22 September 1822–11 October 1908), soldier and U.S. congressman and senator, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Eppa Hunton, brigade inspector of the Virginia militia, and Elizabeth Marye Brent. Educated at a private academy, he taught school, read law, and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1843. Moving to Brentsville in Prince William County, he pursued his profession and joined the militia. By 1847 he was a general officer of state troops. The following year he married Lucy Carolina Weir; they had one son....

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Albert G. Jenkins. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-110269).

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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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Keitt, Laurence Massillon (04 October 1824–05 June 1864), congressman and Confederate colonel, was born in Orangeburg District, South Carolina, the son of George Keitt, a planter, and Mary Magdalene Wannamaker. (His first name is usually given as “Lawrence,” but Keitt preferred—and used—the spelling of Laurence.) Raised on a large plantation near St. Matthews, South Carolina, Keitt attended a local academy and graduated from the South Carolina College in 1843. After moving to Charleston and reading law under ...

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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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Lee, William Henry Fitzhugh (31 May 1837–15 October 1891), soldier and congressman, was born in Arlington, Virginia, the son of Robert Edward Lee, the soldier and later Confederate general, and Mary Anne Randolph Custis, the great-granddaughter of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington by her first marriage. He was educated in private schools but failed to gain admittance to West Point. Lee attended Harvard University, where he was a classmate of ...

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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 ...

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Young, Pierce Manning Butler (15 November 1836–06 July 1896), army officer, congressman, and diplomat, was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the son of Robert Maxwell Young, a physician and planter, and Elizabeth Caroline Jones. In 1838 the family moved to Cartersville, Cass County (renamed Bartow County in 1861), Georgia. Young attended Georgia Military Institute (1852–1857) in Marietta, where he excelled in Thomas McConnell’s cavalry class. Young entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1857. ...