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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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Bate, William Brimage (07 October 1826–09 March 1905), Confederate general, governor, and U.S. senator, was born in Bledsoe’s Lick (now Castalian Springs), Sumner County, Tennessee, the son of James Henry Bate and Amanda Weathered, planters. William Bate received the rudiments of education at a local school, later named the Rural Academy, which he attended until age sixteen. At that time, 1842, his father died, and Bate took a job as a clerk on the steamboat ...

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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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Buckner, Simon Bolivar (01 April 1823–08 January 1914), Confederate lieutenant general and governor of Kentucky (1887-1891), Confederate lieutenant general and governor of Kentucky (1887–1891), was born at his family’s home, “Glen Lily,” in Hart County, Kentucky, the son of Aylett H. Buckner, a planter and iron manufacturer, and Elizabeth Ann Morehead. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1844. For gallant and meritorious conduct during the Mexican War Buckner was breveted captain. Before and after that war he served as a tactical officer at West Point and in other military posts....

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Churchill, Thomas James (10 March 1824–14 May 1905), soldier and politician, was born near Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky, the son of Samuel Churchill and Abby Oldham, farmers. After graduating from St. Mary’s College in Bardstown in 1844, Churchill attended Transylvania University and studied law. He joined the First Kentucky Mounted Riflemen Regiment as a lieutenant at the beginning of the Mexican War. Enemy cavalrymen captured Churchill in January 1847, and he remained a prisoner in the city of Mexico until the war had almost ended. Churchill purchased a plantation near Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1848 and began raising cotton. In 1849 he married Ann Sevier; they had four children. He received an appointment as postmaster at Little Rock in 1857....

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Clark, Charles (24 May 1811–17 December 1877), governor of Mississippi and Confederate general, was born the son of James Clark and Charlotte Alter, farmers. The third of ten children in a Methodist family that had moved from Maryland to Ohio, Clark graduated from Augusta College in Kentucky in 1831. He then accompanied an uncle to Mississippi, read law and then practiced law and taught school in Natchez. In 1835 he moved to Fayette in Jefferson County upon his marriage to Ann Eliza Darden, who was to bear him a son and three daughters. Espousing the pro-banking and internal improvements policies of Clay Whiggery, he served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1838 to 1844. During the Mexican War he raised a volunteer company and served as colonel of the Second Mississippi Infantry....

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Alfred H. Colquitt. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-113057).

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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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Floyd, John Buchanan (01 June 1806–26 August 1863), governor of Virginia, secretary of war, and Confederate general, was born in Montgomery County, Virginia, the son of John Floyd, a planter and doctor who later served as governor of Virginia at the time of ...

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John B. Gordon. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2059).

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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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Hagood, Johnson (21 February 1829–04 January 1898), Confederate soldier and politician, was born in Barnwell County, South Carolina, the son of James O’Hear Hagood, a physician and planter, and Indina Allen. After graduating from the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, in 1847, he read law with a Charleston judge and was admitted to the bar in 1850. Hagood returned to Barnwell County where, like his father, he combined planting with his profession. In 1851 he was appointed deputy adjutant general of the South Carolina militia and elected county commissioner in equity. In 1856 he married Eloise Brevard Butler, daughter of ...

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Hampton, Wade (28 March 1818–11 April 1902), Confederate general, governor of South Carolina, and U.S. senator, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Wade Hampton II and Ann FitzSimons. Named after his father, an immensely wealthy South Carolina planter, Hampton was raised at “Millwood,” the family estate on the Congaree River near Columbia. Privately tutored in his youth, he graduated from South Carolina College in 1836. He married Margaret Preston in 1838, and the couple settled at “Sand Hills,” Hampton’s estate on the outskirts of Columbia. They had four children before Margaret’s death in 1855. In 1858 Hampton married Mary McDuffie, daughter of Senator ...

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Hébert, Paul Octave (12 December 1818–29 August 1880), Louisiana governor and Confederate general, was born on his family’s sugar plantation, “Acadia,” along the banks of the Mississippi River in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, the son of Paul Gaston Hébert, a planter of Acadian or Cajun ancestry, and Mary Eugenia Hamilton. Bilingual in French and English, he graduated from Jefferson College (La.) at the top of his class in 1836. He then entered the U.S. Military Academy, where he finished in 1840 ranked first among forty-two graduates, including ...

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Humphreys, Benjamin Grubb (26 August 1808–20 December 1882), Confederate general and Mississippi governor, was born in Claiborne County, Mississippi Territory, the son of a planter, George Wilson Humphreys, and Sarah Smith. He entered West Point in 1825 in the same class with Robert E. Lee...

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James Lawson Kemper. Illustration in Harper's Weekly, 17 January 1874. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101495).

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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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Oates, William Calvin (30 November 1833–09 September 1910), military officer and politician, was born in Pike County, Alabama, the son of William Oates and Sarah Sellers, farmers. His family was impoverished, and Oates attended school intermittently during his childhood. He left home when he was seventeen and fled to Florida, convinced he had killed a man in a brawl....

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Perry, Edward Aylesworth (15 March 1831–15 October 1889), soldier and governor, was born in Richmond, Massachusetts, the son of Asa Perry, a farmer and politician, and Philura Aylesworth. He was educated at a local academy and spent two years, 1850–1852, at Yale College before moving to Danville, Georgia, apparently through the influence of a southern-born college friend. From Georgia he moved to Greenville, Alabama, where he taught school and studied law. About 1856 Perry relocated again, to Pensacola, Florida, where he practiced law until the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1859 he married Virginia Taylor, the cousin of a fellow attorney. They had four daughters and a son....

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Price, Sterling (20 September 1809–29 September 1867), politician and soldier, was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, the son of Pugh Williamson Price, a planter, and Elizabeth Williamson. He attended Hampden-Sidney College for one year, studied law briefly, and in 1830 accompanied his parents to Missouri, where he prospered as a tobacco planter and merchant in Chariton County. In 1833 he married Martha Head, with whom he had six children. From 1836 to 1838 and from 1840 to 1844 he served in the Missouri General Assembly and was Speaker during the latter term. He then was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1846, following the outbreak of the Mexican War and before he had an opportunity to do anything of note in the House, Price resigned his congressional seat to become colonel of a Missouri regiment assigned to occupation duty in New Mexico. Early in 1847 he suppressed an uprising by the Pueblo Indians and a year later led an expedition into Mexico, which resulted in the capture of the city of Chihuahua and his promotion to the brevet rank of brigadier general. These military achievements made him one of the most prominent and popular men in Missouri and led to his being elected to two terms as governor (1853–1857), after which he returned to planting, engaged in railroad promotion, and in 1860 became state bank commissioner....