Skip to content

Cast of Characters: Politicians, Newspapermen, Conspirators, etc.

Henry W. Allen.  Henry Watkins Allen (1820-1866) was the 17th governor of Louisiana, serving from January 1864 to June 2, 1865. Before the Civil War, he served in the Texas Revolution, the Mississippi House of Representatives, studied law at Harvard, and served in the Louisiana Legislature. Allen enlisted as a private in the 4th Louisiana Infantry but was quickly promoted to lieutenant colonel and six months later to colonel. He was seriously wounded at the battles of Shiloh and Baton Rouge. He became a brigadier general in August, 1863, and became the governor of Louisiana in 1864. As governor, he tried to make the state self-sufficient and also guard the civil liberties of the citizens from infringement by the military. After the War, Allen moved to Mexico City where he edited the Mexico Times and assisted in opening trade between Texas and Mexico. He died in Mexico in April of 1866.

Thomas S. Allen.  Thomas Scott Allen (1825-1905) was a printer, teacher, newspaper publisher and politician from Mineral Point, Wisconsin. Before the Civil War he served in the Wisconsin State Assembly (1857). During the War he was captain of Company I, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry, was promoted to major on August 22, 1861, and then lieutenant colonel on August 30, 1862. He was wounded at Gainesville and Antietam, and was promoted to colonel of the 5th Wisconsin Infantry on January 26, 1863. Allen mustered out on August 2, 1864, and in 1866 he was given the grade of brevet brigadier general of Volunteers. After the War, Allen was elected the 9th Secretary of State, serving two terms (1866-1870).

John A. Andrew.  John Albion Andrew (1818-1867) was the 25th governor of Massachusetts and served from 1861 to 1866. He was a guiding force behind the creation of some of the first African American units in the United States Army, including the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry.

George Ashmun (1804-1870) was a former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts, 1845-1851, who served with Lincoln in the House. He led the delegation that told Lincoln of his nomination as president, and in 1865 he will serve as one of the four civilian pallbearers at Lincoln’s funeral. Ashmun was also well-known by Secretary of War Seward who, at an April 12, 1861, cabinet meeting, had suggested sending someone to Canada “to keep political feelings right” and recommended Ashmun. News of Ashmun’s appointment was either given or leaked to the press and within four days it was being reported that Ashmun was on a secret mission.

For more details, see:

  • Robin W. Wink’s Canada and the United States: The Civil War Years (E 469 .W5 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).

George Atzerodt.  George Andreas Atzerodt (1835-1865) was one of the conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. He was assigned to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, but lost his nerve. Despite that, he was convicted and hanged with the three other conspirators (Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold).

Edward D. Baker. Edward Dickinson Baker (1811-1861) was born in London, England, to Quaker parents. His family immigrated to Philadelphia in 1816, and in 1825 they moved to the utopian community of New Harmony in Indiana. As an adult he became a lawyer in Illinois, participated in the Black Hawk War, and met Abraham Lincoln. He became involved in politics, serving in the Illinois state legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives (1845-1846, and 1849-1851). Although he defeated Abraham Lincoln for the Congressional seat, he and Lincoln remained friends and Lincoln’s son Eddie (Edward Baker Lincoln) was named for Baker. Baker served in the Mexican War as colonel of an Illinois infantry. In 1851 he moved to California, and in 1860 he moved to Oregon where he was elected to the U.S. Senate. When the Civil War broke out he was authorized to raise a California infantry regiment—although he recruited primarily in Philadelphia—and Baker became the colonel of this “California Brigade.” A few months later he was assigned command of a brigade in General Charles Stone’s division. Baker was killed on October 21, 1861, at the Battle of Ball’s Bluff—becoming the only sitting U.S. senator killed in the Civil War.

For more information:

  • Elijah R. Kennedy’s The Contest for California in 1861: How Colonel E.D. Baker Saved the Pacific States to the Union (E 497 .K35 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); also available on Google Books.

Henry D. Barron. Henry Danforth Barron (1833-1882) was the Wisconsin state representative from northwest Wisconsin. The following is from Barron’s entry in the Dictionary of Wisconsin History: “Upon an offer from Caleb Cushing, he moved to St. Croix Falls in 1861 to become an agent for the St. Croix Falls Manufacturing and Improvement Co. He became a Republican shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War and served in the Wisconsin assembly (1863-1864, 1866-1869, 1872-1873; speaker in 1866, 1873). From 1869 to 1871 he was a U.S. Treasury auditor. Barron served in the state senate (1874-1876), where his activities favored the development of lumber companies and railroads, and where he supported legislation for ‘homesteaders.’ By act of the legislature in 1869 the name of Dallas County was changed to Barron County in his honor.”

Edward Bates (1793-1869) served as Lincoln’s Attorney General from March 5, 1861 to November 24, 1864. Bates was one of four main candidates for the Republican Party’s 1860 presidential nomination, receiving support initially from Horace Greeley, who later switched his support to Lincoln.

Judah P. Benjamin.  Judah Philip Benjamin (1811-1884) was the Confederate States of America Attorney General (February-September 1861), Secretary of War (September 1861-March 1862), and Secretary of State (March 1862-May 1865). Prior to the Civil War he was a lawyer and politician, serving in the Louisiana House of Representatives (1852) and the U.S. Senate from Louisiana (1853-1861). He was only the second Jewish senator in U.S. history. Following the Civil War, he moved to England—the only high-ranking Confederate politician to flee the country to avoid treason charges—where he became a distinguished barrister, and in 1872 was appointed a member of the Queen’s Counsel. In 1868 he published his Treatise on the Law of Sale of Personal Property, still in use today but now known as Benjamin’s Sale of Goods.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was a prominent Congregational clergyman, social reformer, speaker, and—along with his sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin—a well-known abolitionist. Beecher held that Christianity should adapt itself to the changing culture of the times, and he was an advocate of women’s suffrage, temperance, and evolution. Before the Civil War, he raised funds to buy rifles for anti-slavery immigrants in Kansas, and the rifles bought with this money became known as “Beecher’s Bibles.” He was also politically active and supported the Republican Party of Lincoln.

Jeremiah S. Black. Jeremiah Sullivan Black (1810-1883) was the 24th U.S. Attorney General from 1857 to December 16, 1860 (followed by Edwin M. Stanton), and the 23rd U.S. Secretary of State from December 17, 1860-March 5, 1861 (preceded by Lewis Cass, succeeded by William H. Seward). Perhaps the most influential of President Buchanan’s official advisers, he denied the constitutionality of secession, and urged that Fort Sumter be properly reinforced and defended.

Francis P. Blair.  Francis Preston Blair (1821-1875) was a lawyer in Missouri who, before the Civil War, served in the Mexican War, was the attorney general for New Mexico Territory, served in the Missouri House of Representatives (1852-1856) and the U.S. House of Representatives (1856-1857, 1861-1862, 1863-1864), where he served as chairman of the Military Affairs Committee. He resigned from Congress in July 1862 to become a Union colonel of Missouri volunteers, and was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in August and major general in November. Blair commanded a division in the Vicksburg campaign and in the fighting around Chattanooga, and was one of William T. Sherman’s corps commanders in his campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas. After the War, having spent much of his private fortune in support of the Union, Blair was financially ruined. In the 1868 presidential election, Blair was the Democratic candidate for vice president. From 1871-1873 he served in the U.S. Senate from Missouri.

Montgomery Blair (1813-1883) was Lincoln’s Postmaster General. He was despised by the Radical Republicans in Congress, and by most of the rest of Lincoln’s cabinet. He was an opponent of emancipation. He resigned in September 1864.

Thomas S. Bocock.  Thomas Stanley Bocock (1815-1891) was a Virginia lawyer, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1842-44), served as prosecuting attorney of Appomattox County (1845-46), and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives before the War (1847-61), serving as the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs. He was elected a Representative to the Confederate Congress in 1861, and was the speaker of that body (chosen February 18, 1862) during most of the Civil War. After the War, he again served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1877-79), and was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1868, 1876, and 1880.

Edwin Booth (1833-1893) was a famous 19th-century actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe. Some theatrical historians consider him the greatest American actor—and the greatest Hamlet—of the 19th century. But his achievements were overshadowed by his younger brother’s infamy when, in 1865, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865) was the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln. He was a member of the prominent 19th-century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known stage actor. He was also a Confederate sympathizer, vehement in his denunciation of Lincoln, was strongly opposed to the abolition of slavery in the United States, and some say a Confederate spy. Booth and a group of co-conspirators plotted to kill Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William H. Seward in an attempt to help the Confederate cause. Of the conspirators, only Booth was completely successful in carrying out his part of the plot, shooting Lincoln once in the back of the head. The President died the next morning; Seward was severely wounded but recovered. In his diary Booth had written, “Our country owed all her troubles to him [Lincoln], and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment.”

Solon Borland (1808-1864) was an Arkansas newspaper publisher and also served in the Mexican War. After that war, he was elected United States Senator from Arkansas. His views were generally dis-unionist, and he was not popular with many members of the Senate. In 1850, he physically attacked Mississippi Senator Henry Foote in a debate over Southern rights. His views were not popular at home, either, and he resigned from the Senate in 1853. Borland then served as United States Minister to Nicaragua through 1854. At the start of the Civil War, Borland was appointed as a commander of the Arkansas state militia and he helped recruit troops for the Confederate Army.

John Minor Botts (1802-1869) was a U.S. Representative from Virginia, 1839-1843 and 1847-1849, serving as chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs during his last term. He is a staunch Unionist throughout the Civil War.

William A. Bowles (1799-1873) was a physician in Indiana who served as colonel of the 2nd Indiana Regiment in the Mexican War. Bowles and others were court martialed over an incident at the Battle of Buena Vista. Jefferson Davis defended Bowles and they formed a life-long friendship. In the 1850s Bowles organized the Knights of the Golden Circle to counteract the Underground Railroad activity within the region where he lived in Indiana. During the Civil War, Bowles was made a Major General of one of the four military districts established by Dodd. Bowles was listed as a co-conspirator in Dodd’s 1864 trial.

Augustus Bradford.  Augustus Williamson Bradford (1806–1881) was the 32nd governor of Maryland, serving from 1862 to 1866. During his term, he violently opposed the Federal government’s interference in Maryland’s elections, upheld the dignity of the State government and defied the harsh and arbitrary military occupation, and went to great lengths to keep the State in the Union. During the Civil War, the Confederates invaded Maryland three times. During the last of these, Bradley T. Johnson’s raiders visited Bradford’s home in July 1864 and burned it to the ground, along with his library and papers.

Mathew Brady.  Mathew B. Brady (1822-1896) was an American photographer best known for his photographs of the Civil War. When the Civil War started, his use of a mobile studio and darkroom enabled vivid battlefield photographs that brought home the reality of war to the public. Thousands of war scenes were captured, as well as portraits of generals and politicians on both sides of the conflict, though most of these were taken by his assistants, including Alexander Gardner.

Thomas E. Bramlette.  Thomas Elliott Bramlette (1817-1875) was the 23rd governor of Kentucky. He was elected in 1863 and guided the state through the latter part of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction. At the outbreak of the war, Bramlette raised and commanded the 3rd Kentucky Infantry. In 1862, President Lincoln appointed him district attorney for Kentucky. In 1863 he won a landslide victory for governor, due partly to election interference by the Union Army.

John C. Breckinridge.  John Cabell Breckinridge (1821-1875) was a U.S. Representative (1851-1855) and U.S. Senator (1861) from Kentucky, the 14th Vice President of the United States under James Buchanan (1857-1861), one of two Democratic candidates for president in the 1860 election, a general in the Confederate States Army, and the Confederate States Secretary of War (February to May 1865). He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Stones River, Jackson, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Missionary Ridge, New Market (considered one of his best performances as a general), Cold Harbor, Monocacy, Fort Stevens, Third Winchester, First Saltville, and Marion. On January 19, 1865, Jefferson Davis appointed Breckinridge as the Confederate secretary of state. His first act as secretary was to promote Robert E. Lee to general-in-chief of all Confederate forces. By late February, Breckinridge concluded that the Confederate cause was hopeless and began laying the groundwork for surrender. He ensured that the Confederate archives, government and military, were captured intact by the Union forces, thus ensuring that a full account of the Confederate war effort would be preserved for history.

Jesse D. Bright. Jesse David Bright (1812-1875) was the ninth lieutenant governor of Indiana (1843-1845) and a U.S. Senator from Indiana (1845-1862).  He was the only Northern senator to be expelled (February 5, 1862) for being a Confederate sympathizer.  The issue came up when Minnesota Senator Morton S. Wilkinson introduced the Senate to a letter written to Jefferson Davis by Bright on March 1, 1861, involving firearm trade.

John Brough (1811-1865) was a War Democrat and the 26th governor of Ohio (1864-1865).  He made a strongly pro-Union speech in Marietta, Ohio, on June 10, 1863.  As governor, Brough strongly supported the the Lincoln Administration and its war efforts.  He convinced other Midwestern governors to raise 100-day regiments in early 1864 in order for more seasoned soldiers to join General Ulysses S. Grant’s spring campaign.

John Brown (1800-1859) was a well-known abolitionist who advocated, and practiced, armed insurrection as a means of abolishing slavery. Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis. In 1859 he led a raid on a federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia); he intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal. The raid failed, but seven people were killed, and Brown was tried, convicted, and executed for murder, conspiracy, and treason against the state of Virginia. After John Brown was executed in 1859, someone created a new, fiercer set of lyrics for the tune “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and the new song, “John Brown’s Body,” became a Union marching song during the Civil War.

Joseph E. Brown.  Joseph “Joe” Emerson Brown (1821-1894) was the 42nd governor of Georgia from 1857 to 1865. In 1861, after Lincoln’s election and South Carolina’s secession, he became a strong supporter of secession. But, being a states’ rights advocate, he was opposed to the Confederate central government’s powers and resisted the Confederacy’s military draft. After the fall of Atlanta, Brown used the state’s militia forces to harvest crops for the state and the army. When Union troops under Sherman overran much of Georgia in 1864, Brown called for an end to the War. After the War, Brown supported President Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction policy. He was elected to the U.S. Senate and served from 1880-1891.

William G. Brownlow.  William Gannaway Brownlow (1805-1877) was a Methodist minister, newspaper publisher, and Tennessee politician. He became known as “The Fighting Parson” due to his caustic editorials. While strongly pro-Union, Brownlow and many of his few East Tennesseans were pro-slavery, but willing to get rid of the institution if it proved necessary to save the Union. Once Tennessee seceded, Brownlow shifted his editorial attacks to the Confederate government. In October 1861 he was forced to cease publishing and flee Knoxville. Offered a safe conduct pass to Union lines, Brownlow returned to Knoxville in the winter, only to be arrested and imprisoned. After the war, he was one of the most controversial politicians of the Reconstruction-era South, serving as the governor of Tennessee, 1865 to 1869, and as a United States Senator from Tennessee, 1869 to 1875.

James Buchanan (1791-1868) was the 15th President of the United States from 1857 to 1861. Buchanan was viewed by many as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question. Buchanan’s efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides.

The UWRF Chalmer Davee Library has the following books on President Buchanan and his administration:

  • James Buchanan and His Cabinet on the Eve of Secession, by Philip G. Auchampaugh (E 437 .A75)
  • James Buchanan and the American Empire, by Frederick Moore Binder (E 437 .B56 1994).
  • Life of James Buchanan, Fifteenth President of the United States, by George Ticknor Curtis (E 437 .C97)
  • President James Buchanan: A Biography, by Philip S. Klein (E 437 .K53)
  • The Presidency of James Buchanan, by Elbert B. Smith (E 436 .S6)

William A. Buckingham.  William Alfred Buckingham (1804-1875) was the 41st governor of Connecticut, serving from 1858 to 1866. During his tenure, he dealt successfully with the effects of an economic panic that occurred in the state and with the outbreak of the Civil war. Buckingham arranged for troops, with 54 companies enlisting instead of 10. Before the General Assembly appropriated $2 million for military expenses, Buckingham had begun borrowing money in his own name to finance Connecticut’s war efforts. Concerned for the welfare of Connecticut troops, he oversaw much of the procurement of men and materials for the War.

Joshua Fry Bullitt (1821-1898) was elected a justice on the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1861, and served as chief justice in 1864-1865. Bullitt was arrested on August 11 and again on November 22, 1864, by order of Union General Burbridge for belonging to the Sons of Liberty. He was sent to Tennessee with others suspected of similar crimes, but returned to Louisville and the Court of Appeals in December of 1864. Bullitt fled to Canada and was removed from office by Governor Bramlette. Years later the Kentucky Legislature adopted a resolution dismissing the accusations against him.

Simon Cameron (1799-1889) was Lincoln’s first Secretary of War, serving from March 5, 1861, until he resigned on January 14, 1862, amid charges of corruption. Cameron had delivered Pennsylvania to Lincoln in the 1860 election and the secretaryship was his reward.  Before that, he was a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, succeeding James Buchanan in that seat.

John A. Campbell.  John Archibald Campbell (1811-1889) was a successful lawyer in Georgia and Alabama, where he served in the State legislatures. Appointed by Franklin Pierce to the United States Supreme Court in 1853, he served until the outbreak of the American Civil War, when he became an official of the Confederacy. After serving six months in a military prison, he resumed a successful law practice in New Orleans, where he opposed Reconstruction.

John S. Carlile.  John Snyder Carlile (1817-1878) was a member of the Know Nothing Party in the U.S. House for one term beginning in 1854, and a U.S. Senator from Virginia, July 9, 1861-March 1865.  As a leader in the anti-secession movement at the Virginia Convention, he voted “no” on the secession resolution, despite the fact that he himself was a slave owner. 

Matt Carpenter.  Matthew Hale Carpenter (1824-1881) moved to Wisconsin in 1848, settling in Beloit and then Milwaukee; he practiced law in both places. In the 1850s he changed his name to Matthew Hale Carpenter. An avid Democrat, in his early career he supported Stephen A. Douglas in the election of 1860. With the outbreak of the Civil War, he became a “war Democrat” and soon joined the ranks of the Republican party. After the War, he became a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (serving 1869-1875 and 1879-1881) and a supporter of President Grant. Carpenter was a brilliant orator and logician, but his insistence on legalism and his seeming lack of deep-rooted loyalties gave political ammunition to his enemies, who attempt to make him the symbol of reconstruction corruption.

For more information:

  • Carpenter, Matthew Hale article in the online “Dictionary of Wisconsin History.”
  • Matthew Hale Carpenter: Webster of the West, by E. Bruce Thompson, (E 664 .C29 T5 UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).
  • The Matthew Hale Carpenter Papers are available at the Wisconsin Historical Society (and can be used at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Archives and Area Research Center via the ARC Network).

Lewis Cass (1782-1866) was the 22nd U.S. Secretary of State from March 6, 1857-December 14, 1860. Cass’s biographer, Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin, states that Cass resigned in December 1860 because of Buchanan’s failure to protect federal interests in the South and his failure to mobilize the federal military, actions that might have averted the threatened secession of Southern states.  (McLaughlin, Lewis Cass, Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1891.)

During his long political career, Cass served as the second governor of Michigan Territory (1813-31), 14th U.S. Secretary of War (1831-6), U.S. ambassador to France (1836-42), a U.S. Senator representing Michigan (1845-57), and co-founder/first Masonic Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan. He was the losing nominee of the Democratic Party for president in 1848. Cass was nationally famous as a leading spokesman for the controversial Doctrine of Popular Sovereignty, which would have allowed voters in the territories to determine whether to make slavery legal instead of having Congress decide.

His title of “General” comes from the War of 1812 when he was promoted to brigadier general.

For more information:

  • Lewis Cass, by McLaughlin, (E 340 .C3 M15 UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); also available digitally on Google Books.
  • Lewis Cass, the Last Jeffersonian, by Frank Bury Woodford, (E 340 .C3 W66 UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).

Zachariah Chandler (1813-1879) was mayor of Detroit (1851-52), a four-term U.S. Senator from Michigan (1857-1875, 1879), and Secretary of the Interior (1875-1877) under U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant. During the Civil War and Reconstruction, Senator Chandler was a leading Radical Republican, advocating strong prosecution of the Union War effort, the end of slavery, and civil rights for African Americans.

Salmon P. Chase.  Salmon Portland Chase (1808-1873) was a U.S. Senator from Ohio (1849-1855), the 23rd Governor of Ohio (1856-1860), Lincoln’s U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (March 7, 1861-June 30, 1864), and a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1864-1873), nominated by Lincoln.

For more information:

  • Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character, by Alonzo Rothschild (E 457 .R84 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); digitally available on Google Books.

Charles Clark (1811-1877) was a lawyer and plantation owner in Mississippi before the Civil War. When Mississippi seceded in 1861, he was commissioned a brigadier general. He commanded a brigade in Kentucky, and led a division at the Battle of Shiloh and at the Battle of Baton Rouge, where he was severely wounded and captured. He was released after spending some time as a prisoner of war. In late 1863, he became the 24th governor of Mississippi (and remained governor until removed by the Union occupation forces in 1865 and replaced by William L. Sharkey. Clark was briefly imprisoned at Fort Pulaski (near Savannah, Georgia).

Cassius M. Clay.  Cassius Marcellus Clay (1810-1903), nicknamed “The Lion of White Hall,” was a cousin of Henry Clay. He was a southern aristocrat (from Madison County, Kentucky) who became a prominent anti-slavery crusader. He was a founder of the Republican Party, and a friend and supporter of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln tried to appoint Clay ambassador to Spain when the Civil War started, but he declined. When the Civil War began, there were no Federal troops in Washington at the time, so Mr. Clay organized a group of 300 volunteers to protect the White House and U.S. Naval Yard from a possible Confederate attack. These men became known as Cassius M. Clay’s Washington Guards. Clay then became the Minister to Russia once Federal troops arrived to protect the capital city. Later recalled to the United States to accept a commission as a major general from Lincoln, Clay publicly refused to accept it unless Lincoln would sign an emancipation proclamation.

Clement C. Clay.  Clement Claiborne Clay (1816-1882) was a U. S. Senator (1853-1861) from the state of Alabama, and a Confederate States Senator from Alabama (1861-1863). Clay and Jacob Thompson were head of the Confederate secret agents and employed John Wilkes Booth for a while. Because of that, he and his wife Virginia were imprisoned for a time by the United States government at Fort Monroe in 1865 on the suspicion of having been involved in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. They were released in 1866 and returned to Alabama where he became a merchant and planter. An interesting note: His portrait appears on the Confederate one-dollar bill (4th issue and later).

Howell Cobb (1815-1868) served as U.S. Congressman (1843-51; 1855-57), Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1849-51), governor of Georgia (1851-53), and as the 22nd U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (March 7, 1857-December 8, 1860). Following Georgia’s secession from the Union in 1861, he served as president of the Provisional Confederate Congress (1861-62) and a major general of the Confederate army.

For more information:

  • “Right of Secession (December 31, 1860),” a pamphlet written by Howell Cobb and included in Southern Pamphlets on Secession, November 1860-April 1861, edited by Jon L. Wakelyn (E 458.1 .S68 1996 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library)
  • Howell Cobb entry in The New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Richard Cobden (1804-1865), sometimes spelled Gobden, was a British statesman, associated with John Bright in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League in England as well as with the Cobden–Chevalier Treaty (1860 Anglo-French Free Trade treaty). His stance on the American Civil War was pro-Union because the Confederacy was fighting for slavery. During the War, he was anxious that Britain was giving assistance to the Confederate cause by building and selling them warships, the most famous being the CSS Alabama. As he feared, those ships did significant damage to American commerce and after the War the U.S. government filed the Alabama Claims against the British government. Britain settled the claims by paying the U.S. $15.5 million for the damages.

John Cochrane (1813-1898), a Union general and politician from New York. He resigned his commission as a brigadier general of Volunteers in February 1863, ostensibly because of failing health, but more likely because of his political maneuverings. He had agitated for the removal of General Ambrose E. Burnside. Cochrane served as New York’s Attorney General from 1864-1865, elected on a ticket nominated by the Union State Convention, a coalition of War Democrats and Republicans. In 1864 he was nominated by the Radical Republicans for the vice-presidency of the United States, on the ticket with John C. Frémont.

Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885) was a Republican politician who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana from 1855-1869, as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1863-1869, and as President Ulysses S. Grant’s vice president from 1869-1873. Before the War, he was an opponent of slavery and wrote a famous speech condemning the pro-slavery legislature in Kansas.

Jay Cooke (1821-1905), an American financier, is generally acknowledged as the first major investment banker in the United States, creator of the first wire house firm, and the postwar development of the Northern Pacific Railway. He helped finance the Union war effort during the Civil War by working with Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase to secure loans from the leading bankers in the Northern cities. Chase engaged him as special agent to sell the $500 million in “five-twenty” bonds. Cooke influenced the establishment of national banks, organizing one at Washington and another at Philadelphia. In the early months of 1865, the government faced pressing financial needs and after the national banks saw disappointing sales of “seven-thirty” notes, the government again turned to Cooke.

Montgomery M. Cothern. Montgomery Morrison Cothern (1819-1888) settled, with his parents, in New Diggings, Wisconsin, in 1839. He was admitted to the bar in 1843 and established a law practice in Mineral Point. “A Democrat, he was a member of the territorial lower house (1847- 1848) and state senator (1849-1850). In 1852 he was elected judge of the 5th judicial circuit, serving from 1853 to 1865, and was again elected in 1876, serving from 1877 to 1883.”

For more details:

Henry H. Crapo.  Henry Howland Crapo (1804-1869)—pronounced Cray-poe—was 14th governor of Michigan, serving from January 1865 to January 1869.

John J. Craven.  John Joseph Craven (1822-1893) was Jefferson Davis’ first, of two, doctors while he was at Fort Monroe. Craven was a carpenter, an inventor, a gold miner, a physician-soldier, a respected community physician and a tinkerer. When the Civil War started, he received a commission in the 1st New Jersey Militia, a three-month regiment. When his time was up, he was commissioned in the U.S. Volunteers Medical Staff and promoted to full surgeon on September 4, 1861. He was appointed Brigade Surgeon in General Sherman’s Expeditionary Corps, and in February, 1862, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of General Wrights Brigade and served in Florida and Tybee Island, Georgia. In September he became Medical Purveyor of the Department of the South, CMO to General Gillmore at Fort Pulaski, CMO to field operations against Forts Wagner , Gregg and Sumter. In January, 1865 he moved to the position of Medical Purveyor, and CMO of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina. This included duties at Fortress Monroe. During this period, he attended lectures at Baltimore Academy of Medicine and was awarded an M.D. degree. Following his dismissal from Fort Monroe for becoming too friendly with Davis, Craven was honorably discharged a month later and returned home to New Jersey with a final rank of brevet lieutenant colonel.

John J. Crittenden.  John Jordan Crittenden (1787-1863) was  a U.S. Senator from Kentucky until March 4, 1861, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky from July 4, 1861 until his death on July 26, 1863. He had also served as the 15th and 22nd U.S. Attorney General (under Millard Fillmore and then William Henry Harrison). He was frequently mentioned as a potential candidate for president, but never ran.

Andrew C. Curtin.  Andrew Cregg Curtin (1817-1894) was the 15th governor of Pennsylvania (1861-1867). Curtin was a close friend of President Lincoln, and a political foe of fellow Pennsylvanian Simon Cameron. In September 1862, Curtin convened the Loyal War Governors’ Conference in Altoona, Pennsylvania. This event, that brought together 13 governors to discuss the war effort, state troop quotas, and support of President Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, is one of Curtin’s most significant contributions to the Union war effort. In 1863 Curtin was a major force behind the establishment of the Gettysburg National Cemetery and procured President Lincoln to speak at the dedication.

Congressman James G. Blaine wrote: “Circumstance had thrown him [Curtin] into close and confidential relations with Mr. Lincoln,–relations which had their origin at the time of the Chicago Convention, and which had grown more intimate after Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated. Before the firing on Sumter, but when the States of the Confederacy were evidently preparing for war, Mr. Lincoln earnestly desired a counter signal of the readiness on the part of the North. Governor Curtin undertook to do it in Pennsylvania at the President’s special request. On the eleventh day of April, one day before the South precipitated the conflict, the Legislature of Pennsylvania passed an Act for the better organization of the militia, and appropriated five hundred thousand dollars to carry out the details of the measure. The manifest reference to the impending trouble was in the words prescribing the duty of the Adjutant-General of the State in case the President should call out the militia. It was the first official step in the loyal States to defend the Union, and the generous appropriation, made in advance of any blow struck by the Confederacy, enabled Governor Curtin to rally the forces of the great Commonwealth to the defense of the Union with marvelous promptness.”

Quoted in the “Andrew G. Curtin” article on the Mr. Lincoln’s White House website, from Blaines’ Twenty Years of Congressman from Lincoln to Garfield, vol. 1, page. 306.

Charles A. Dana. Charles Anderson Dana (1819-1897) was a journalist (New York Tribune, and others), author, and government official, best known for his association with Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War and his aggressive political advocacy after the war. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton made him a special investigating agent of the War Department in 1862. Dana discovered frauds of quartermasters and contractors, and as the “eyes of the administration”—Abraham Lincoln called him—he spent much time at the front, and sent reports to Stanton about the capacity and methods of various generals in the field. In particular, there was concern about rumors of Grant’s alcoholism and Dana spent considerable time with him. Dana became a close friend of Grant, assuaged Administration concerns, and urged placing Grant in supreme command of all the armies. Dana served as Assistant Secretary of War from 1863 to 1865.

Garrett Davis (1801-1872) was a U.S. senator from Kentucky during the Civil War (1861-1872), and a U.S. Representative from Kentucky before that (1839-1847). Davis was opposed to secession, however, and supported the Constitutional Union Party ticket in 1860. This convinced him to re-enter politics, and he was elected in 1861 to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the expulsion of John C. Breckinridge.

Henry W. Davis.  Henry Winter Davis (1817-1865) was a U.S. Representative from Maryland. Like Hicks, he was a member of the Know Nothing Party. He held strong anti-slavery views and became a Radical Republican.

Jefferson Davis.  Jefferson Fine Davis (1808-1889) was the president of the Confederate States of America for its entire existence, 1861-1865.

John D. Defrees.  John Dougherty Defrees (1810-1882) was a newspaperman and politician. Lincoln appointed him Government Printer as a reward for his party loyalty and his support of Lincoln. “As Government Printer, he was twice removed from office under subsequent changes in administrations. His first removal came in 1866 when his criticism of President Johnson’s policies got him into trouble. He was dismissed, only to be reappointed by the Senate a few months later when Congress made the post of U.S. Printer a Senate office. But Mr. Defrees was again removed as Printer in 1869 for criticizing corruption in Grant’s administration. The game of musical chairs ended for him when President Hayes reappointed him to the post of Printer in 1877 where he continued until ill health forced him to resign for good in 1882.”

William Dennison, Jr. (1815-1882), was a lawyer, businessman and politician from Ohio. He was one of the first major Ohio politicians to leave the Whig Party for the new Republican Party. He rose quickly through the party ranks due to his anti-slavery and anti-discrimination efforts in the Ohio State Senate. As the 24th governor of Ohio (1860-1862), he refused the demands of Kentucky and Virginia to extradite fugitive slaves. Dennison was a vocal supporter of President Lincoln’s policies, raised over 100,000 troops and organized 82 three-years regiments for the Union army, and denounced Ohio’s Copperheads. He served in Lincoln’s Cabinet as the U.S. Postmaster General, from 1864 to 1866, leaving after he decided he could no longer support President Andrew Johnson’s policies. After the Civil War, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Dennison the first president of the Board of Commissioners for the District of Columbia (1874-1878). In 1880, he sought the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, but was defeated by James Garfield. Dennison remained active in state and national politics until his death.

Anna E. Dickinson.  Anna Elizabeth Dickinson (1842-1932) was an orator, lecturer, teacher, and advocate for abolition and women’s suffrage. In 1862, she had given a series of lectures, sponsored by the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, that helped foment the abolitionist movement in that state. During the 1863 elections, she spoke in support of the several Republican candidates and for the Radical Republicans’ anti-slavery platform. In 1864, she received a standing ovation for a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Daniel S. Dickinson.  Daniel Stevens Dickinson (1800-1866) was a U.S. Senator from New York (1844-1851) and the New York State Attorney General (1862-1863), elected as a War Democrat.

James R. Doolittle.  James Rood Doolittle (1815-1897) was a U.S. senator from Wisconsin during the Civil War (1857-1869). He was a strong supporter of President Lincoln’s administration. Doolittle took a prominent part in the debate on the various war and reconstruction measures, upholding the national government, but always insisting that the seceding states had never ceased to be a part of the Union. He strongly opposed the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on the ground that each state should determine questions of suffrage for itself. After the War he ran for governor of Wisconsin (1871) but lost the election and retired from politics.

Stephen A. Douglas.  Stephen Arnold Douglas (1813-1861) was a U.S. Senator from Illinois, 1847-1861, and the Democratic presidential candidate in 1860. Although he had defeated Abraham Lincoln two years earlier for the Senate seat after the now-famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates, he lost to Lincoln in the presidential election. Douglas died on June 3, 1861, from typhoid fever.

Frederick Douglass (ca. 1818-1895) was a well-known African-American abolitionist and social reformer, writer, and orator.

James M. Edmunds (1810-1879) chaired the Michigan Republican Party from 1855-1861. In 1861, President Lincoln appointed him the commissioner of the General Land Office, a position he held until 1866, when he became postmaster of the U.S. Senate.

Emerson Etheridge (1819-1902) was a U.S. Representative from Tennessee from 1853-1857 and again from 1859-March 3, 1861, and serves as the Clerk of the House from 1861-1863. He spoke eloquently in Congress in opposition to secession and remained loyal to the Union.

Edward Everett (1794-1865) was an American politician, minister, educator, diplomat, and orator from Massachusetts. A Whig politically, Everett served as a U.S. Representative (1825-1835) from Massachusetts, the 15th governor of Massachusetts (1836-1840), U.S. ambassador to Great Britain (1841-1845), U.S. Secretary of State (1852-1853), and a U.S. Senator (1853-1854) from Massachusetts. He also taught at Harvard University and served as its president (1846-1849). Everett was one of the great American orators of the Civil War era. He was the featured speaker at the dedication ceremony of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg on November 19, 1863—where he spoke for over two hours—immediately before President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous, two-minute Gettysburg Address. Everett died January 15, 1865, before the end of the Civil War.

Lucius Fairchild (1831-1896) is remembered as a colonel in the Iron Brigade, as Wisconsin’s 10th governor (1866-1872), and as a U.S. diplomat during the late 19th century.

“Five days after the Confederates attacked on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, Fairchild was appointed captain of Co. K of the 1st Wisconsin Regiment. After three months of service around Washington, D.C., the regiment was disbanded. Fairchild accepted the appointment as a major in the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry and immediately rose to lieutenant colonel. A year later, on August 30, 1862, he was named colonel of the regiment, just as it entered its fiercest battles.  Fairchild commanded troops in several of these battles, including Second Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. At Gettysburg, while he was leading a charge from Seminary Ridge to McPherson’s Ridge on July 1, 1863, he was hit by a ball that shattered his left arm, which had to be amputated. Shortly before he was mustered out of service, he was promoted to brigadier general.”

Fairchild was elected Wisconsin Secretary of State and served from 1864-1866. In 1865 he was elected governor and served three successive terms, from 1866-1872. As governor, Fairchild was active in promoting soldiers’ aid.

For more information:

S. M. Fassett.  Samuel Montague Fassett () was a Chicago-based photographer during the Civil War.

Reuben Fenton.  Reuben Eaton Fenton (1819-1885) was elected the 22nd governor of New York in 1864, defeating Horatio Seymour. He served from 1865-1868. In January 1869, he was elected a U.S. Senator from New York and served from 1869 to 1875. In 1872 he was among the Republicans opposed to President Ulysses S. Grant who joined the short-lived Liberal Republican Party. Earlier in his political career he had been a Democrat and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving from 1853-1855, and then elected as a Republican, serving from 1857-1865.

William P. Fessenden.  William Pitt Fessenden (1806-1869) was an American politician from Maine. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1840), the U.S. Senate (1854-1864, 1865-1869), and as the 26th U.S. Secretary of the Treasure (July 1864-March 1865). Before the Civil War, Senator Fessenden’s speeches were widely read and influenced many Republicans, including Abraham Lincoln. During the war, Senator Fessenden helped shape the Union’s taxation and financial policies.

John C. Fletcher.  John Clement Fletcher (1827-1899) was the 18th governor of Missouri, serving from 1864 to 1869. He issued the proclamation abolishing slavery in the state. His administration was confronted with many problems, including amnesty for former Confederate soldiers, the disposition of the railroad property the state had acquired through default by the railroad companies failure to pay interest on bonds guaranteed by the state, and the reorganization of public education.

John B. Floyd.  John Buchanan Floyd (1806-1863) was the 24th U.S. Secretary of War from March 6, 1857-December 29, 1860. (His predecessor in that position was Jefferson Davis and his successor was Joseph Holt.) President Buchanan requested his resignation on December 29, 1860.  His resignation was precipitated by the refusal of Buchanan to order Major Robert Anderson to abandon Fort Sumter. On January 27, 1861, he was indicted for conspiracy and fraud. Floyd appeared in court in Washington, D.C., on March 7, 1861, to answer the charges against him, but the indictments were thrown out on a technicality. After the charges were thrown out he served in the Confederate army as a major general in the Provisional Army of Virginia.

Henry S. Foote.  Henry Stuart Foote (1804-1880) was a United States Senator from Mississippi from 1847 to 1852 and elected on a Unionist ticket as Governor of Mississippi from 1852 to 1854. His strong leadership on the Senate floor helped secure passage of the Compromise of 1850, which for a time averted a civil war in the United States. Just before the Civil War started, he moved to Tennessee and settled at Nashville, where he was elected to the First and Second Confederate Congresses.

John T. Ford.  John Thomson Ford (1829-1894) operated Ford’s Theatre at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Ford was responsible for creating three theaters in Washington, D.C.  He opened his first theatre on Tenth Street in 1861. After it was destroyed by fire in 1862, he rebuilt the structure on the same site and called it Ford’s Theatre. Ford also managed the Holliday Street Theater in Baltimore for twenty-five years, and built the Grand Opera House in that city in 1871.

John W. Forney (1817-1881) was an American journalist and politician, serving as clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (1851-56 and 1860-61) and secretary of the U.S. Senate (1861-68). President Abraham Lincoln helped Forney become secretary of the Senate. During the Civil War Forney published the Washington, D.C., Sunday Morning Chronicle, which in 1862 became a daily. Soon, nearly forty thousand copies of the Chronicle were being distributed to the Army of the Potomac, responding to Lincoln’s desire that a pro-administration newspaper be available to the troops. After Lincoln’s death, Forney supported Andrew Johnson for a short time, but by February 1866, when Johnson vetoed the Freedman’s Bureau Act, Forney joined Republican moderates and became one of the foremost newspaper editors attacking Johnson in the struggle that resulted in the president’s impeachment.

For more information, see

  • John W. Forney article on the United States Senate, Senate History website.

John C. Frémont. John Charles Frémont (1813-1890) was a U.S. military officer, and explorer, the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party in 1856 (losing to James Buchanan), and the Radical Republicans’ presidential candidate in 1864. Frémont led multiple survey expeditions in the American West and his “Report and Map” published by Congress guided thousands of emigrants to Oregon and California. He served as a lieutentant colonel in California during the Mexican-American War, capturing both Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. In the Civil War he serves as a major general, including a controversial term as commander of the Army’s Department of the West, May-November 1861. In March 1862 Frémont takes command of the Mountain Department of the Army, which included Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.  When the Army of Virginia is created in June of that year and command given to John Pope, Frémont declined to serve and ended up siting out the rest of the War. In 1864, he was a candidate for president, but did not receive the nomination.

The UWRF Chalmer Davee Library has the following books on John C. Frémont:

  • Frémont, Explorer for a Restless Nation, by Ferol Egan (E 415.9 .F8 E33 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).
  • Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character, by Alonzo Rothschild (E 457 .R84 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); digitally available on Google Books.
  • Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, by John C. Frémont, Senate Executive document 174, (F 592 .F822 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).

Alexander Gardner (1821-1882) is best known for his photographs of the American Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, and the execution of the conspirators in Lincoln’s assassination. Born in Scotland, Gardner visited the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, New York, where he saw the photography of Mathew Brady and became interested in photography. He moved to the U.S. in 1856 and contacted Brady, who hired Gardner to work for him that year, continuing until 1862. At first, Gardner specialized in making large photographic prints, called Imperial photographs, but as Brady’s eyesight began to fail, Gardner took on increasing responsibilities. In 1858, Brady put him in charge of his Washington, D.C., gallery.

Augustus H. Garland.  Augustus Hill Garland (1832-1899) represented Pulaski County, Arkansas, at the secession convention in 1861. He later served in both the Confederate House of Representatives and Senate.

Richard H. Garrett.  Richard Henry Garrett (1806-1878) “owned farm land in Caroline County, Virginia. His property, called “Locust Hill” was near the main road between Port Royal and Bowling Green. On April 24th, 1865, Richard Garrett’s farm was visited by three former Confederate soldiers making their way back from the recently ended war. The leader of the group, a Pvt. Willie Jett, asked Mr. Garrett if he wouldn’t mind taking care of one of his compatriots, who was wounded, for a few days. Mr. Garrett, being a hospitable Southern gentleman with two boys only recently returned from Confederate service themselves, welcomed the man with a broken leg into his home with open arms. The man ate with the family that night seeming very pleased to have been welcomed in. The next day, the other solider who was with Pvt. Jett and the lame man returned to the house. He brought with him another soldier and another man, who was introduced as the lame man’s cousin. Richard Garrett was out in the fields when this happened and his son, Jack Garrett informed this newcomer that he would have to wait and ask his father if he could stay on the farm with his cousin. The two other soldiers left the house and headed toward Port Royal. Not long after this the two Confederates raced back down the road exclaiming that the Union troops were crossing the Rappahannock river at Port Royal. The lame man and his cousin quickly gathered themselves up and went into the woods behind the tobacco barn. Shortly thereafter Union soldiers rode past the farm very fast. This impromptu hiding in the woods raised Jack Garrett’s suspicions of the pair. The two men reemerged from the woods and then proceeded to have dinner with the family. After dinner, Richard Henry Garrett found himself a little bit under the weather, and left his son Jack to deal with the strangers. Mr. Garrett awoke early the next morning to the sound of someone banging on his door. Still wearing his sleep wear, Richard Henry Garrett made his way to the door and cracked it open. Union soldiers grabbed him and commanded him to tell them where the two men were. Having been ill and asleep, he did not rightly know where the men were. As he stammered trying to explain himself, the Union soldiers threatened to hang him in one of his own trees if he didn’t tell them what they wanted to know. Just then, Richard’s son Jack appeared from one of the corn cribs on the property. He told the soldiers that the men they were looking for were sleeping inside the old tobacco barn. Jack led the soldiers to the barn and was commanded into the barn to get the men inside to give themselves up. The men inside the barn cursed Jack for betraying them and threatened to kill him if he came in again.”

Jack is Richard’s son John Muscoe “Jack” Garrett (1840-1899).

Read more on the Garretts on:

John A. Gilmer.  John Adams Gilmer (1805-1868) was a U.S. Representative from North Carolina from 1857-March 3, 1861. He served as a member of the 2nd Confederate Congress in 1864.

William A. Graham.  William Alexander Graham (1804-1875) was a U.S. senator from North Carolina (1840-1843), the 30th governor of North Carolina (1845-1849), U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1850-1852), a candidate for the vice-presidency in 1852, and a Confederate States senator from North Carolina (1864-1865). In 1866 Graham was again elected to the U.S. Senate, but because North Carolina had not yet been readmitted to the Union, he did not present his credentials.

Horace Greeley (1811-1872) was editor of the New York Tribune and is best known for his 1865 editorial where he advised “Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.”  Greeley made the Tribune an unofficial organ of the Republican Party. He took a hard line against slavery and secession. In 1864 he was involved in a peace initiative, with Confederate commissioners that met at Niagara Falls.

Alfred B. Greenwood.  Alfred Burton Greenwood () was President Buchanan’s Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1859 to May 13, 1861. Once the War broke out, Greenwood became a member of the Congress of the Confederate States.

Emerick W. Hansell (1817-1893) was for many years an employee of the U.S. Department of State as confidential messenger to successive Secretaries of State, including Marcy, Cass and William H. Seward. He was with the latter when the attempt was made on the Secretary’s life by the assassin Payne, and received a serious wound from Payne’s knife. Mr. Hansell has been in feeble health for many years, the result of a partial paralysis, no doubt induced by the wound he received, and was obliged to resign his position on this account in 1873.

James Harlan (1820-1899).  President Lincoln had nominated his close friend James Harlan to replace John P. Usher as Secretary of the Interior; Harlan had been confirmed by the Senate when Lincoln died, and took over as the 8th Secretary under President Andrew Johnson, serving from May 1865-August 1866. While Secretary, Harlan fired Walt Whitman for writing what he deemed was a morally offensive book, Leaves of Grass. Harlan was also a U. S. senator from Iowa (1855-65 and 1867-1873), and during his Senate tenure, Harlan was chairman of the committees of Public Lands, District of Columbia, Education, and Indian Affairs.

Clara Harris.  Clara Hamilton Harris Rathbone (1834-1883) was one of four children of Ira Harris and Louisa Tubbs Harris. Louisa died in 1845 and in 1848 Ira married Pauline Penney Rathbone, mother of Henry R. Rathbone. Clara and Henry were raised together, fell in love, and became engaged before the Civil War broke out.  Rathbone and Harris accompanied President and Mrs. Lincoln to Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, when President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Harris accompanied Rathbone to the Petersen House where President Lincoln was taken. After Rathbone was taken home, Harris remained with Mrs. Lincoln. Harris and Rathbone were married on July 11, 1867, and had three children. Rathbone blamed himself for not preventing Lincoln’s death and spent the remainder of his life battling delusions and seeking treatment for deteriorating mental health. On December 23, 1883, Henry Rathbone attacked his children in a fit of madness. While attempting to protect the children, Clara was fatally shot by Rathbone who then stabbed himself in an attempted suicide. The weapons he used were the same weapons Booth had used to assassinate Lincoln.

Ira Harris (1802-1875) was a lawyer, justice of the New York Supreme Court (1847-59), and U.S. senator from New York (1861-67). While in the U.S. Senate, he visited President Lincoln at the White House often and the two men developed a friendship. He was also a good friend of his predecessor in the Senate, Lincoln’s Secretary of State William H. Seward.  Also while in the Senate, Harris served on the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, which drafted the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. His daughter Clara Harris and his stepson/future son-in-law Henry Rathbone were the Lincolns’ guests at Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, when the president was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth. (Harris had remarried to Pauline Rathbone, Henry’s mother.)

Isham G. Harris.  Isham Green Harris (1818-1897) was the Governor of Tennessee from 1857-1862. As governor, he decided not to respond to President Lincoln’s call for troops at the start of the War and helped Tennessee to secede; it was the last state to join the Confederacy. Once Lincoln appointed Andrew Johnson the military governor of Tennessee on March 12,1862, Harris ceased making any effort to function as the state’s executive. Although he never formally resigned as governor, Harris then served as a staff officer in the Confederate Army. After the War, Harris served as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee from 1877 to his death in 1897.

Cordelia A. P. Harvey.  Cordelia Adelaide Perrine Harvey (1824-1898), one-time school teacher, wife/widow of Wisconsin Governor Louis P. Harvey, and Sanitary Agent for Wisconsin’s soldiers in the South. Mrs. Harvey’s life after her husband’s death showed she had the same compassion for the soldiers as her husband. Like many of the other women volunteers she was appalled by the conditions in the soldiers’ hospitals and believed that the wounded men would recover more rapidly if they were sent away from the dangerous air, poor food, and lack of care in the hospitals that were set up near the battle lines. In 1876 Cordelia Harvey married the Rev. Albert T. Chester and moved with him to Buffalo, New York, where she taught school until his death. She then returned to Wisconsin where she died on February 27, 1895.

For more information:

Louis P. Harvey.  Louis Powell Harvey (1820-1862) was the governor of Wisconsin for three months in 1862. Prior to being elected governor, he helped to organize the Republican Party in 1854, and was a state senator from 1854-1857. He served as the Wisconsin secretary of state from 1860-1862 Harvey took office as governor in January 1862, and while on an inspection trip to visit wounded Wisconsin soldiers after the Battle of Shiloh, he accidentally drowned on April 19, 1862, in the Tennessee River.

For more information, see:

Samuel D. Hastings.  Samuel Dexter Hastings (1816-1903) was a Wisconsin state assemblyman from Geneva (1849) and from Trempealeau (1857), and was state treasurer (1858-1866). In 1882 he was the unsuccessful Prohibition candidate for Congress, and in 1884 was again unsuccessful in his bid for the governorship. He is, however, best known for his championship of abolition and prohibition.

For more on Hastings, see

Rutherford B. Hayes.  Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822-1893) was the 19th president of the United States, serving from 1877 to 1881. He served in the Civil War as . Hayes was wounded five times, most seriously at the Battle of South Mountain. He earned a reputation for bravery in combat and was promoted to the rank of major general. After thW war, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1865-67 )as a Republican. Hayes then served as the 29th governor of Ohio (1868-72) and 32nd governor of Ohio (1876-77). He won a contentious election as president by the Compromise of 1877, in which the Democrats acquiesced to Hayes’s election and Hayes ended all U.S. federal army intervention in Southern politics. As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction, began the efforts that led to civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Horace Heffren (1832-1883) had served as lieutenant colonel of the 50th Indiana Infantry from July 1861 to September 1862 when he resigned. He was one of the co-conspirator in the H. H. Dodd treason trial in Indiana in 1864. Heffren’s testimony at the trial was published in 1864 as “Sons of Liberty : Testimony of Horace Heffren, One of the Accused.”

Alexander Henry (1823-1883) was the mayor of Philadelphia from 1858-1865. Henry led the city throughout the Civil War, playing key roles in the recruitment of troops from Philadelphia, and planning for the defense of the city, especially around the Gettysburg Campaign in June of 1863.

Gustavus A. Henry.  Gustavus Adolphus Henry (1804-1880) was a prominent antebellum planter and lawyer, a law school classmate of Jefferson Davis. He served in the Confederate States Senate from 1862–1865 and was widely known as the “Eagle Orator of Tennessee.” Through his personal friendship with President Davis he was able to exert influence in the Confederate government, and as a senator he was a powerful member of the finance and military committees. Early in the Civil War, the state of Tennessee commissioned the construction of a pair of forts to protect the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, and the fort on the Tennessee River was named “Fort Henry” in the Senator’s honor.

David E. Herold (1842-1865) met future Lincoln conspirator John Surratt while attending Charlotte Hall Academy, and through Surratt, Herold was introduced to John Wilkes Booth in 1863. On April 14, 1865, Herold accompanied Lewis Powell and waited outside with the horse while Powell attacked William H. Seward. After the attack, Herold met up with Booth. Pursuing soldiers caught up with Herold and Booth at Garrett’s farm in northern Virginia in the early morning of April 26. Herold surrendered rather than being shot or dying in the burning barn.

Thomas H. Hicks. Thomas Holliday Hicks (1798-1865) was the 31st governor of Maryland, elected in 1857 as a member of the Know-Nothing Party, and served 1858-1862. He was then U.S. Senator from Maryland, from 1862 until his death in 1865. Despite his early sympathies for the South, Hicks helped prevent Maryland from seceding, which would have put Washington, D.C., in Confederate territory.

W. W. Holden.  William Woods Holden (1818-1892) was the 38th (1865) and 40th (1868-1870) governor of North Carolina. As the Civil War progressed, Holden became an outspoken critic of the Confederate government and a leader of the North Carolina peace movement. In 1864, he was the unsuccessful “peace candidate” against incumbent Governor Zebulon B. Vance, who won overwhelmingly. After the Civil War, Holden was appointed governor by President Andrew Johnson, but was defeated in a special election in 1865. He was elected as a Republican in 1868. Holden’s efforts to suppress the Ku Klux Klan exceeded those of other Southern governors. The result was a political backlash, accompanied by violence to suppress the black vote, and the Republicans lost the legislative election. With the Democratic Party in control of both both houses of the state legislature, Governor Holden became only the second governor in American history to be impeached, and the first to be removed from office; he is the only North Carolina governor to be impeached.

Andrew Humphreys (1821-1904) was an Indiana politician who served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives (1849-1852 and January-March 1857); was appointed Indian agent for Utah in 1857; was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1872 and 1888; served in the Indiana Senate (1874-1876, 1878-1882, 1896-1900), and served in the U.S. Congress from December 1876 to March 1877.  He should not be confused with Union General Andrew Atkinson Humphreys (1810-1883). He was one of the co-conspirator in the H. H. Dodd treason trial in Indiana in 1864.

Benjamin G. Humphreys.  Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (1808-1882) was the 26th governor of Mississippi, serving from October 16, 1865, to June 15, 1868. He attended West Point, but was expelled in 1826. Back in Mississippi, he was elected to the state senate and served from 1839 to 1844. When the Civil War started he raised a company, was commissioned captain of the company, which became part of the 21st Mississippi Infantry, and by the end of the year Humphreys was colonel of the regiment. His regiment fought in the Eastern Theater and Humphreys participated in the Battle of Gettysburg, taking command of the brigade after the death of William Barksdale. Humphreys was promoted to brigadier general and remained in command of the brigade through the end of the War.

After the Civil War, in October 1865, Humphreys was elected governor of Mississippi, but was not immediately recognized as such because he had not yet been pardoned. Without presidential approval, on October 16, 1865, Humphreys had himself inaugurated and sworn in as the 26th governor of Mississippi. As governor, he encouraged Jim Crow laws. Humphreys was re-elected and started his second term, but with the beginning of Congressional control of Reconstruction he was physically removed by occupying U.S. army forces on June 15, 1868.

R. M. T. Hunter.  Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter (1809-1887) a Confederate Senator from Virginia and President pro tempore of the Confederate Senate (1862-1865). Before that he had been the Confederate Secretary of State (1861-1862). Before the Civil War Hunter had been a U.S. Senator from Virginia (1847-1861), speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (1839-1841) and member of the House from Virginia (1837-43, 1845-47). He was, at times, a caustic critic of the Davis administration. He was one of the Confederate commissioners at the Hampton Roads Conference in 1865. After the surrender of General Lee, Hunter was summoned by President Lincoln to Richmond to confer regarding the restoration of Virginia in the Union. From 1874 to 1880 he was the treasurer of Virginia, and from 1885 until his death was collector of the Port of Tappahannock, Virginia.

William Hunter, Jr. (1805-1886) was a politician and diplomat from Rhode Island. He had served as acting Secretary of State on three occasions, once in 1853, again in 1860, and for Secretary William H. Seward after his wounding in an attack concurrent with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. He also served as Chief Clerk of the State Department (1852-5), Assistant Secretary of State (1855), and Second Assistant Secretary of State (1866-86).

Stephen Horsey was a resident of Shoals, Indiana, who lived close to the site of a train wreck that involved hundreds of Union soldiers. He was arrested and within the next 24 hours the other co-conspirator in the H. H. Dodd treason trial were also arrested and charged with treason. After the trial, imprisonment, and release, Horsey returned to Martin County, Indiana, a broken man who died in financial straits.

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was the 7th president of the United States (1829-37).  As president, he denied the right of a state to secede from the union, or to nullify federal law. Having helped found the State of Tennessee, he was elected a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1796-97) and  a U.S. Senator from Tennessee (1823-25). Jackson gained national fame through his role in the War of 1812, most famously when he won a decisive victory at the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson’s army was then sent to Florida where he deposed the small Spanish garrison. This led directly to the treaty which formally transferred Florida from Spain to the United States, and Jackson served as military governor of Florida for most of 1821.

William Jayne.  Dr. William Jayne (1826-1916) was the first governor of Dakota Territory. Jayne was the brother-in-law of U.S. Senator Lyman Trumbull, whose first wife, Julia Maria Jayne, had been a close friend of Mary Todd before both of their marriages; Julia had been Mary Todd’s maid of honor at her marriage to Abraham Lincoln in 1842. Dr. Jayne served as Lincoln’s personal physician in Springfield. In March 1861, Lincoln appointed Jayne the first governor of Dakota Territory, and he served in that capacity from May 27, 1861, until 1863, and then served as a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Dakota Territory from March 4, 1863, to June 17, 1864. Jayne then returned to Springfield and resumed his medical practice.

Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) had a long political career before the Civil War. He was a U.S. Representative from Tennessee from 1843–1853; Tennessee’s 17th governor, serving from 1853–1857; a U.S. Senator from Tennessee from October 8, 1857–March 4, 1862; and military governor of Tennessee, 1862-1865; Lincoln’s second vice president, taking office on March 4, 1865; and became president of the U.S. (1865-1869) when Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865. He was a major proponent of the Homestead Act (which passed in 1862). He believed the Constitution guaranteed the right to own slaves, but was still devoted to the Union. Johnson was impeached on February 24, 1868, in the U.S. House of Representatives, their primary charge being violation of the Tenure of Office Act by removing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Congress had passed the Act the previous year, largely to protect Stanton. Johnson, the first American president to be impeached, was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

George W. Johnson (1811-1862).  During the Civil War, a group of Confederate sympathizers formed a Confederate government for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. While this government never successfully displaced the Union government, it did elect a Confederate “Provisional” governor. The first such governor was George Washington Johnson, who served from November 20, 1861, to his death on April 8, 1862, at the Battle of Shiloh.

James Johnson (1811-1891) was a U.S. Representative from Georgia from 1851-1853. He was a Unionist and opposed secession. After the Civil War he was appointed the 43rd Governor of Georgia by President Andrew Johnson (no relation) and served from June to December 1865.

Robert W. Johnson.  Robert Ward Johnson (1814-1879) was a U.S. Senator from Arkansas from 1853-1861. In 1861 he was a delegate to the Arkansas secession congress. He then served as a Confederate Senator from Arkansas from 1862-1865.

Norman B. Judd.  Norman Buel Judd (1815-1878) was a valued political supporter of Lincoln in Illinois, although Lincoln did not appoint him to his cabinet. Instead, President Lincoln appointed him Minister Plenipotentiary to Berlin on March 6, 1861, and he served as such until 1865.

William Kellogg (1814-1872) served as a U.S. Representative from Illinois from 1857 to 1863.

James H. Lane.  James Henry Lane (1814-1866), also known as Jim Lane, moved to Kansas Territory in 1855. He immediately became involved in the abolitionist movement in Kansas and was often called the leader of the Jayhawkers. When Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861, Lane was elected a U.S. Senator and served from April 4, 1861-July 11, 1866. While serving as a senator, Lane raised a brigade composed of Jayhawkers that was known as the “Kansas Brigade” or “Lane’s Brigade,” which was composed of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Kansas Volunteers. He led this force against General Sterling Price in Missouri several times in 1861, including the looting and burning of Osceola on September 23, 1861, for which he was severely criticized.  In December of 1861 Lane was appointed a brigadier general of Volunteers, but his commission was canceled in March of 1862 in an argument over whether a sitting U.S. senator could also hold the rank of general. Less than a month later he was reinstated and served as recruiting commissioner for Kansas. Lane was re-elected in 1865, but accused of abandoning the Radical Republicans and also financial irregularities, he committed suicide on July 1, 1866.

Joseph Lane (1801–1881) served as a U.S. Senator from Oregon from February 14, 1859–March 4, 1861.  Lane, originally from North Carolina and Kentucky, had been nominated for vice-president on the pro-slavery southern wing of the Democratic Party’s 1860 ticket, alongside presidential candidate John C. Breckinridge. When his Senate term expired in 1861, Lane retired to Oregon and took no part in the Civil War.

For more information:

  • Lane’s papers are in the University of Oregon’s Special Collections and University Archives.

John Letcher (1813-1884) was the 34th Governor of Virginia, serving from 1860-1864. He was prominent in the Peace Convention that met in February of 1861 to try to prevent the split of the Union. Letcher discouraged secession, but was then active in sustaining the secession ordinance and even ran for the Confederate Congress in 1863.

James T. Lewis.  James Taylor Lewis (1819-1904) was the ninth governor of Wisconsin. A lawyer by profession, Lewis was a Democrat when he served in the Wisconsin Constitutional Convention (1847-1848), the Wisconsin Assembly (1852), the Wisconsin Senate (1853), and as Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor (1854-56). He retired from public life, but only until 1861 when he re-entered politics, this time as a Republican. Lewis was elected secretary of state in 1861 and governor in 1863. He was an ardent supporter of President Lincoln, and faithfully supplied his state’s quota of soldiers for the army. He made numerous trips to army hospitals and camps, and secured a special order to transfer Wisconsin’s sick and wounded soldiers home. Lewis was also instrumental in founding homes for both soldiers and soldiers’ orphans.

For more on Lewis, see

Abraham Lincoln (1809-April 15, 1865) was elected as the 16th U.S. president on November 6, 1860, and took office on March 4, 1861, having arrived in Washington, D.C., on February 23. Between November and March, seven states seceded from the Union. (South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas.)

For more information:

  • The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, by J. G. Holland (SPL E 457 .H65 1866 in the UWRF University Archives & Area Research Center); available digitally on Google Books.
  • Lincoln: Passages from His Speeches and Letters, with an introduction by Richard Watson Gilder (SPL E 457.92 1901 UWRF University Archives & Area Research Center); digitally available on Google Books.
  • Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character, by Alonzo Rothschild (E 457 .R84 UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); digitally available on Google Books.

Benjamin F. Loan.  Benjamin Franklin Loan (1819-1881) was a U.S. Representative from Missouri (1863-69) and a well-known Union brigadier general (1861-63) who participated in counter-guerrilla operations in Missouri, including the Battle of Yellow Creek (August 13, 1862).

Owen Lovejoy (1811-1864) was a lawyer, Congregational minister (1839-56), abolitionist, and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois (1857-64). After his brother Elijah P. Lovejoy was murdered in 1837 by pro-slavery forces, Owen became the leader of abolitionists in Illinois. While in Congress, he “introduced the final bill to end slavery in the District of Columbia,” long a goal of the American Anti-Slavery Society. He also helped gain passage of legislation prohibiting slavery in the territories. He was one of the few steadfast Congressional supporters of Lincoln during the Civil War.

For more information see:

  • Owen Lovejoy: Abolitionist in Congress, by Edward Magdol (E415.9.L89 M3 UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).

Beriah Magoffin (1815-1885) was the 21st governor of Kentucky, serving from 1859 to 1862. Personally, Magoffin adhered to a states’ rights position, including the right of a state to secede from the Union, and he sympathized with the Confederate cause. Nevertheless, when the Kentucky General Assembly adopted a position of neutrality in the war, Magoffin ardently held to it, refusing calls for aid from both the Union and Confederate governments. After the Civil War, he encouraged acceptance of the Union victory and passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.

Andrew G. Magrath.  Andrew Gordon Magrath (1813-1893) was the last Confederate governor of South Carolina, serving from December 1864 to May 1865. Before the Civil War, he had been a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives (1838-42), a judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of S.C. (1856-60), and South Carolina Secretary of State (1860-61). Magrath resigned his judgeship the day after Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Magrath as a Confederate district judge in 1862 and as such he was noted for his opposition to the centralization of power by the Confederate government in Richmond. The South Carolina General Assembly appointed him to be the governor of South Carolina in December 1864. He served for less than a year as governor and he was critical of continuing the struggle in the face of overwhelming Union forces. The Union Army arrested him on May 25, 1865, he was released in December. After the War, Magrath resumed his law practice in Charleston.

Stephen R. Mallory.  Stephen R. Mallory (ca. 1813-1873) was a U.S. Senator from Florida (1850-1861), and would become the Secretary of the Navy for the Confederacy (March 4, 1861-May 20, 1865).

James M. Mason.  James Murray Ma son (1798-1871) was a U.S. Representative from Virginia for 1837-1839, and a U.S. senator from Virginia from 1847 to March 28, 1861, where he drafted the second Fugitive Slave Law (1850). He was a grandson of George Mason, one of the “fathers” of the U.S. Bill of Rights. James Mason was released from Federal custody in January 1862 and proceeded to London, where he represented the Confederacy until April 1865.

George B. McClellan.

For more information:

  • Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character, by Alonzo Rothschild (E 457 .R84 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); digitally available on Google Books
  • McClellan, Sherman, and Grant, by T. Harry Williams, 1962 (E 467 .W5 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).

Hugh McCulloch (1808-1895) served two non-consecutive terms as the Secretary of the Treasury (1865-69 and 1884-85), and was the first Comptroller of the Currency (1863-64). During his tenure, McCulloch maintained a policy of reducing the federal war debt and the careful reintroduction of federal taxation in the South, and he  worked during his career to bring back the gold standard.

Walter D. McIndoe.  Walter Duncan McIndoe (1819-1872) moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1847, where he became co-partner in a lumber-milling business. He was a state assemblyman for many years and in December, 1862, he was elected to the U.S. Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Luther Hanchett.

For more information:

Christopher G. Memminger.  Christopher Gustavus Memminger (1803-1888) was the first Secretary of the Treasury for the Confederate States of America, serving from February 25, 1861, until his resignation on July 18, 1864.  He entered South Carolina state politics and served in the South Carolina state legislature from 1836 to 1852 and 1854 to 1860, where for nearly twenty years he was the head of the finance committee. Although a moderate on the secession issue, he was asked to write an outline of reasons for South Carolina’s secession and was selected as a South Carolina delegate to the provisional congress that formed the Confederate State of America. He also was the chairman of the committee that drafted the Confederate Constitution.

Stephen Miller (1816-1881) was middle-aged when he joined the 1st Minnesota Infantry as a private. He quickly advanced to colonel of the regiment. In 1862 Miller returned from the War and replaced General Henry Hastings Sibley as commander of Camp Lincoln, where 303 Dakota men who had been convicted of participating in the Dakota War of 1862 were being held. By order of President Lincoln, Miller supervised the mass execution of 38 of those Dakota men condemned for their part in the war. In the fall of 1863, with the support of former Governor Alexander Ramsey and on the strength of his military career, Miller was elected the 4th governor of Minnesota. He served from 1864 to 1866. The one-time war hero and popular governor died an impoverished widower, in Worthington, Minnesota, in 1881.

Lambdin Purdy Milligan (1812-1899) was a lawyer and farmer (his law class included Edwin M. Stanton) in Indiana. Milligan was outspoken in political affairs and publicly protested the Civil War and Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton. By May 1864, Federal authorities were convinced that  Milligan was in touch with Confederate agents. He became one of the co-conspirator in the H. H. Dodd treason trial in Indiana in 1864. The Supreme Court case that eventually freed the Dodd conspirators bore Milligan’s name, Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. (4 Wall.) 2.

John Mitchel (1815-1875) was an activist for Irish nationalism, author, and political journalist. He was convicted of treason by the British in 1848, transported to a penal colony in Australia, escaped in 1853 and settled in the United States. As a journalist, Mitchel was controversial before the Civil War for his defense of slavery, claiming that slaves in the southern United States were better cared for and fed than Irish cottiers, or English industrial workers. His views were explicitly racist and claimed that slavery was inherently moral. In 1855 his sympathy for the Southern cause took him to Knoxville, Tennessee, where in 1857 he stated a newspaper, the Southern Citizen, to promote “the value and virtue of slavery, both for negroes and white men.” He moved the paper to Washington in 1859, and in 1861 moved to Richmond to edit the Richmond Enquirer. Although a spokesman for the Southern cause, Mitchel fell out with Jefferson Davis, whom he regarded as too moderate. After the War, Mitchel returned to New York and took on the editorship of the Daily News, which he used to denounce the vindictive North for humiliating the South. Such sentiments got him into trouble and he was arrested in June 1865 and confined at Fort Monroe until late October 1865. Mitchel was treated so harshly during his first two months at Fort Monroe that a prison physician warned the authorities that he would die if not allowed exercise and better food. Though conditions improved for Mitchel after this, his health was irreparably damaged. Mitchel returned to Ireland in 1875 and was elected to the British House of Commons from Tipperary shortly before his death.

Edwin D. Morgan.  Edwin Denison Morgan (1811-1883) was the 21st governor of New York from 1859-1862, and then became a U.S. Senator from New York, serving from 1863-1869. Morgan was very influential in Republican politics and served as the first chairman of the Republican National Committee, 1856 to 1864.

Justin S. Morrill.  Justin Smith Morrill (1810-1898), U.S. Representative (1855-1867) from Vermont, was sponsor of the Morrill Tariff law, adopted on March 2, 1861.  Passage of the Morrill Tariff was possible because many of the Southern Congressmen had left Washington by then following the secession of their states.

Oliver P. Morton.  Oliver Hazard Perry Throck Morton (1823-1877), usually known simply as Oliver P. Morton, was the 14th governor of Indiana, serving from 1861 to 1867. After the War, he will be a U.S. senator from Indiana (1867-1877), where as a Radical Republican will support numerous bills designed to punish the former Confederate states.

Dr. Samuel Mudd.  Samuel Alexander Mudd (1833-1883) was a doctor in southern Maryland, who also used slaves on his tobacco-farm, believing slavery was a God-given institution. The Civil War seriously damaged his business, especially when Maryland abolished slavery in 1864. At this time, he first met Booth, who was planning to kidnap Lincoln, and Mudd was seen in company with three of the conspirators. But his part in the plot, if any, remains unclear. After assassinating Lincoln on April 14, 1865, Booth and co-conspirator David Herold rode to Mudd’s home in the early hours of the 15th for surgery on his fractured leg. Some time that day, Mudd must have learned of the assassination, but did not report Booth’s visit to the authorities for another 24 hours; this appeared to link him to the crime and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Richard J. Oglesby.  Richard James Oglesby (1824-1899) was the 14th governor of Illinois (1865-69; 1873; 1885-89), and U.S. senator from Illinois (1873-79). Before his political career, Oglesby was a colonel of the 8th Illinois Infantry, commanded a brigade at the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, was promoted to brigadier general, was severely wounded at the Battle of Corinth, and was promoted to major general in 1862. He resigned his commission in May 1864 in order to run for governor. Oglesby was present in the room at the Petersen House when President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865.

Henry L. Palmer (1819-1909) was a lawyer, politician, and insurance executive. A Democrat, Palmer was state assemblyman (1853, 1860, 1862, 1873) and state senator (1867-1868). He also served as Milwaukee County judge (1873-1874). He will be the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Wisconsin governor in 1863. After the War, Palmer will become the chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

  • For more information, see the Dictionary of Wisconsin History article on Henry L. Palmer.

John M. Palmer.  John McAuley Palmer (1817-1900) was a lawyer from Illinois, active in Illinois state politics prior to the Civil War. During the War he served in the Union Army (see Military Cast of Characters). After the War he returned to his legal practice in Springfield, Illinois. Palmer was elected Republican governor of Illinois, serving from 1869-1873. Returning to the Democratic Party, he won a U.S. Senate seat in 1891 serving until 1897.  In 1896, he unsuccessfully ran with Simon Bolivar Buckner, a former Confederate general, for president on the splinter Gold Democratic Party ticket.

George H. Pendleton.  George Hunt Pendleton (1825-1889), nicknamed “Gentleman George,” was a U.S. Representative (1857-1865) and U. S. Senator (1879-1885) from Ohio. In 1864 he was George B. McClellan’s running mate on the Democratic ticket, against Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.

Benjamin F. Perry.  Benjamin Franklin Perry (1805-1886) was the 72nd governor of South Carolina, serving from June 30 to November 29, 1865. On June 30, 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Perry as the provisional Governor of South Carolina, because of his strong unionist views prior to the war. Perry was directed by Johnson to enroll voters and to lead the state creating a new state constitution, however the constitutional convention delegates adopted black codes to prevent black suffrage.

John Jones Pettus (1813-1867) was the governor of Mississippi from 1859 to 1863.

Josiah L. Pickard.  Josiah Little Pickard (1824-1914) was elected Wisconsin state superintendent of public instruction in 1859, “serving in this capacity from Jan., 1860, until his resignation in Sept., 1864. During his administration, Pickard promoted the raising of teacher standards and requirements, and played an important role in unifying the state’s educational program. He secured passage of a bill (1861) establishing the county superintendent system of state school administration, and, in an effort to raise the state’s educational standards, utilized the Wisconsin Journal of Education (old series) as a medium of communication with local school districts. Pickard was president of the University of Wisconsin board of regents (1862-1865).”  (Dictionary of Wisconsin History)

Francis W. Pickens.  Francis Wilkinson Pickens (1805-1869) was the 69th governor of South Carolina (1860-1862) when the state seceded from the Union. Pickens sanctioned the firing on the relief ship, the Star of the West, on January 9, 1861, in Charleston’s harbor. He also approved of the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston’s harbor, on April 12-13, 1861.

Francis H. Pierpont.  Francis Harrison Pierpont (1814-1899), called the “Father of West Virginia,” was the governor of the Union-controlled parts of Virginia (1861-1865) during the Civil War, and after the War he was the governor of all of Virginia during the early years of Reconstruction (1865-1868). An active supporter of Abraham Lincoln, Pierpont became more involved in politics as an outspoken opponent of Virginia’s secession from the Union.

M. M. “Brick” Pomeroy.  Marcus Mills Pomeroy (1833-1896), known as “Brick” Pomeroy, was the editor of the La Crosse (Wis.) Daily Democrat. At this point in the Civil War, he gave rousing speeches throughout the Saint Croix Valley to help recruit soldiers. The Prescott Journal of August 27, 1862, includes a lengthy article by Pomeroy in praise of Prescott and the Valley. But he will become a daring Copperhead later in the War, writing spit-fire columns and satirical poetry.

For more information:

  • Ruth Anne Tucker’s 1979 Ph.D. dissertation, “M. M. ‘Brick’ Pomeroy: Forgotten Man of the Nineteenth Century,” available digitally on the UW-La Crosse Murphy Library’s website.
  • The Wisconsin Historical Society has a package of material of Pomeroy’s writings and a lesson plan for teachers available on their website.

John F. Potter.  John Fox Potter (1817-1899) was a lawyer, judge, and politician from Wisconsin. Potter was elected  to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican, serving from 1857 to 1863. He served as chairman of the Committee on Public Lands from 1861 to 1863, handling the Homestead Act of 1862. Potter was defeated for re-election in 1862. The Lincoln administration appointed him to be Consul General for the U. S. in Canada.

George May Powell (1835-1905), a Lincoln supporter, was a noted statistician in the U.S. Treasury Department during the Civil War. After the war Powell became very involved in publishing companies and founded several social reform organizations. He was a noted public speaker, writer, inventor and cartographer.  In later years he organized a trip to Egypt and Palestine. Upon returning to the United States, he gave lectures about his experiences, dressed in his “Oriental outfit.”  He was a cousin of Oliver and Nathaniel Powell, who founded the village of River Falls in 1854.

Lazarus W. Powell.  Lazarus Whitehead Powell (1812-1867) was a U.S. senator from Kentucky during the Civil War (1859-1865) and he served as the 19th governor of Kentucky before that (1851-1855). In 1861, Senator Powell vigorously condemned President Lincoln’s decision to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Powell became an outspoken critic of Lincoln’s administration, so much so that the Kentucky General Assembly asked for his resignation and some of his fellow senators—led by Kentucky’s other senator, Garrett Davis—tried, unsuccessfully, to have him expelled. Following his successful defense against calls for his removal, Powell continued speaking against what he saw as violations of constitutional rights.

Lewis Powell.  Lewis Thornton Powell (1844-1865), aka Lewis Payne or Paine, attempted to assassinate U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward on April 14, 1865, the same night President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Powell had been a Confederate soldier (2nd Florida Infantry) and was wounded at Gettysburg. He later served in Mosby’s Rangers before working with the Confederate Secret Service in Maryland. He met John Wilkes Booth and was recruited into his plot to kidnap, and then later kill, Lincoln. Powell was assisted in the attempted assassination of Seward by David Herold, who was himself caught when Booth was killed. Powell was apprehended at Mary Surratt’s boarding house. Powell, Herold, and Surratt where tried, convicted, and hanged.

George E. Pugh.  George Ellis Pugh (1822-1876) was a Democratic politician in Ohio, serving in the Ohio House of Representatives (1848-1850), as the 3rd Ohio attorney general (1852-1854), and as a U.S. senator from Ohio (1855-1861). Pugh lost his bid for re-election in 1860 to Salmon P. Chase, who became Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury. He is best known as a member of the counsel for the defense of Clement L. Vallandigham in 1863. During the Civil War, he fell into disfavor with the citizens of Ohio because he was a Democrat and for defending Vallandigham. Pugh ran in 1863 for lieutenant governor and in 1864 for the U.S. House of Representatives, losing both races.

Alexander Ramsey (1815-1903), a native of Pennsylvania, had come to Minnesota when President Taylor offered him the governorship of the recently-organized Minnesota Territory. He served as the first governor of the Territory from 1849 to 1853, and was later elected as the second governor of the new state, serving from 1860 to 1863. Ramsey happened to be in Washington, D.C., in April 1861 when the Civil War began, and was the first governor to offer President Lincoln a volunteer regiment for the Union Army.

For more information, see:

  • Alexander Ramsey entry on the Minnesota Historical Society’s Governors of Minnesota website.

Alexander W. Randall.  Alexander Williams Randall (1819-1872) was the sixth governor of the state of Wisconsin, serving from 1858 to 1861. He raised eighteen regiments, ten artillery batteries, and three cavalry units of volunteers for the Civil War before leaving office, exceeding Wisconsin’s quota by 3,232 men. The Union Army created a military camp from the former state fairgrounds in Madison (Wis.), named “Camp Randall” after the governor. (Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin sits on the grounds of the Civil War Camp Randall.) In 1861 President Lincoln appointed him as U.S. Minister to the Vatican, and President Johnson appointed him as the 22nd U.S. Postmaster General (1866 to 1869).

For more information, see:

Henry R. Rathbone.  Henry Reed Rathbone (1837-1911) was sitting with his fiancée, Clara Harris (daughter of Senator Ira Harris), next to President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, when John Wilkes Booth entered the president’s box at Ford’s Theatre and fatally shot Lincoln. When Rathbone attempted to prevent Booth from fleeing the scene, Booth stabbed and seriously wounded him. Clara Harris and Major Rathbone married and had three children. In 1883, Major Rathbone shot his wife, leaving three young children to be raised by their mother’s sister. Rathbone was committed to an asylum for the insane near Hanover, Germany. He remained in the institution for the rest of his life until his death in 1911. Their son, Henry Riggs Rathbone entered politics and represented Illinois in the 68th Congress.

John H. Reagan.  John Henninger Reagan (1818-1905) was a Texas politician and the Confederate postmaster general. Before the Civil War he was the first county judge of Henderson County, a member of the 2nd Legislature of Texas, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas (1857-1861). Reagan resigned his seat in Congress on January 15, 1861, and on January 30th attended the Texas Secession Convention (Texas seceded on February 2). Within a month Reagan was appointed postmaster general of the Confederacy. After the Confederate defeat, he called for cooperation with the federal government and thus became unpopular. He returned to public office when his predictions of harsh treatment for resistance were proved correct. Reagan served again as a U.S. Representative from Texas (1875-1887) and as a U.S. senator from Texas (1887-1891). In Congress, he advocated for federal regulation of railroads and helped create the Interstate Commerce Commission. Appropriately, he also served as the first chairman of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads.

Henry M. Rice.  Henry Mower Rice (1816-1894) was one of the first U.S. Senators from neighboring Minnesota, serving from 1858 to March 4, 1863.

For images of Rice see:

Albert Rust (1818-1870), was a U.S. Representative from Arkansas from 1855 to 1861. In 1861 he was a delegate to the Arkansas secession congress. He served as colonel of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry.

Edward G. Ryan.  Edward George Ryan (1810-1880) came to Racine, Wisconsin, in 1842. in 1846 was a delegate to the first state constitutional convention where he gained recognition as the author of the anti-banking article. In 1853, now living in Milwaukee, he served as the special prosecutor in the impeachment trial of circuit judge Levi Hubbell, in 1855 he prosecuted Sherman M. Booth for violation of the Fugitive Slave Law, and in 1856 argued the case for Bashford in the contested William Barstow—Coles Bashford gubernatorial election. Ryan served as leader of the Democratic party in Wisconsin during the Civil War. He was strongly critical of the Lincoln administration’s conduct of the War and its violations of Constitutional liberties.

For a fuller biography, see

Edward Salomon (1828-1909) was the eighth governor of Wisconsin, becoming governor upon the death of Governor Harvey in 1862. He was one of four brothers from Germany who distinguished themselves during the Civil War era (Edward, Frederick, Charles, and Herman). Salomon is best remembered for his tireless efforts to raise new regiments and his handling of the 1862 draft riots in Wisconsin.

For more on Salomon, see

George N. Sanders.  George Nicholas Sanders (1812-1873) was a financier, lobbyist, and Confederate agent in Europe. Inspired by European revolutionaries of the 1840s, in the early 1850s Sanders was one of the leaders of the “Young America” movement. He became involved in what, at the time, were regarded as revolutionary and anarchist causes. He had supposedly been involved in plans to assassinate heads of state or foment causes to bring about democratic reform. Sanders is perhaps better known as a Confederate operative during the Civil War, although the details of some of his activities can be difficult to document. He did negotiate with the Confederate government for the construction in England of several vessels that could run the Union blockade, he was a member of the failed peace conference in Niagara, New York, attended in the summer of 1864 by Horace Greeley and John Hay, and later in 1864 was in Canada to represent the Confederate raiders of St. Albans, Vermont. Sanders initially was suspected of having been part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, and a $25,000 bounty was put on his head in May 1865.

For more on Sanders:

  • His papers were purchased by the Library of Congress in 1914.

John Locke Scripps (1818-1866) was a lawyer and journalist. In 1861, President Lincoln appointed him postmaster for Chicago, and he held the position for four years. Scripps was one of the founders of the Chicago Tribune and for some years its chief editor. In 1860, he wrote the first biography of Abraham Lincoln ever published (Life of Abraham Lincoln, New York, 1860).

James Seddon.  Alexander Seddon (1815-1880) was the longest-serving Confederate Secretary of War, serving from November 1862 to February 1865. Before the Civil War he was a successful lawyer in Richmond, Virgina, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1845-1847, 1849-1851) from Virginia. Seddon attended the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861. When he resigned as Secretary of War, he retired from public life to his country estate.

Frederick W. Seward.  Frederick William Seward (1830-1915) was the son of William H. Seward, Sr., and older brother of General William H. Seward, Jr.  He was appointed by President Lincoln to be U.S. Assistant Secretary of State on March 6, 1861, and served until March 4, 1869 (and also served under Rutherford B. Hayes from 1877-1879). On February 21, 1861, Seward had arrived in Philadelphia carrying a letter for his father that described a plot to assassinate President-elect Lincoln as he passed through Baltimore on his way to Washington, D.C., for his inauguration. Based on that information, Lincoln passed through Baltimore at night rather than making a daytime public appearance.

William H. Seward (1801-1872).  William Henry Seward, Sr. (1801-1872), was the 12th Governor of New York, a U.S. Senator from New York, and on March 5, 1861, became Lincoln’s Secretary of State. He was an outspoken opponent of the spread of slavery and a dominant figure in the national Republican Party. He was widely regarded as a leading contender for the party’s nomination for president in 1860. Despite his loss, he becomes a loyal member of Lincoln’s cabinet, and will play a role in preventing foreign intervention early in the war. He is perhaps best remembered as Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State, during which time he arranged for the purchase of Alaska, known at the time as “Seward’s Folly.”

For more information:

  • Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character, by Alonzo Rothschild (E 457 .R84 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); digitally available on Google Books.

Horatio Seymour (1810-1886) was the governor of New York during the Civil War (1863-1864). Seymour was one of the most prominent Democratic opponents of President Lincoln, opposing on constitutional grounds the Lincoln administration’s institution of the military draft in 1863. His efforts to conciliate the rioters during the New York Draft Riots in July 1863 was used against him by the Republicans, who accused him of treason and support for the Confederacy. Seymour was the Democratic nominee for U.S. president in 1868, but lost the election to Ulysses S. Grant.

For more information on Seymour and the Draft Riots:

  • The Second Rebellion: The Story of the New York City Draft Riots of 1863, by James McCague (F 128.44 .M3 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).

Thomas H. Seymour.  Thomas Hart Seymour (1807-1868) was a lawyer and a Democratic politician who served as the 36th governor of Connecticut from 1850 to 1853, and as Minister to Russian from 1853 to 1858. Seymour made two unsuccessful attempts to return to the governorship, in 1860 and 1863. Then in 1864 he was unsuccessful in gaining the Democratic nomination for President, losing to General George B. McClellan.

William L. Sharkey.  William Lewis Sharkey (1797-1873) was the 25th governor of Mississippi, appointed by President Andrew Johnson on June 13, 1865, as the provisional governor. Before the Civil War, Sharkey was a highly successful lawyer in Vicksburg, served briefly in the state legislature, and was elected chief justice of the Mississippi High Court of Errors and Appeals, a position he held for eighteen years. After leaving the bench, Sharkey served briefly as the American counsel to Cuba and compiled the Mississippi Code of 1857. He was a strong unionist and one of the few Mississippi political leaders who did not support the Confederate States of America. Governor Sharkey did not take an active role in the Reconstruction of Mississippi after he left office in December 1865. He continued his law practice in Jackson until his death.

James F. Simmons. James Fowler Simmons (1795-1864) was a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island. He served two terms: 1841-1847 and 1857-August 15, 1862, when he resigned.

John Slidell (1793-1871) was a U.S. Representative, 1843-1845, and a  U.S. senator from Louisiana, 1853 to February 4, 1861. Slidell was released from Federal custody and set sail for England on January 1, 1862. From England he sailed to Franch, but failed to gain French recognition for the Confederate States. But he did succeed in negotiating a loan from private French interests, and in securing an ironclad ship, the Stonewall, for the Confederacy. Uncertain of his safety at home after the war, Slidell and his family stayed in Paris. He never sought pardon from the Federal government for his Confederate service, dying in London, England, in 1871.

Caleb B. Smith.  Caleb Blood Smith (1808-1864) was the 6th U.S. Secretary of the Interior, serving from March 5, 1861, to December 31, 1862. Prior to the War, he had been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana (1843-49), a lawyer in Cincinnati and then Indianapolis, and was influential in getting Abraham Lincoln nominated at the 1860 Republican National Convention. Lincoln appointed Smith the Secretary of the Interior as a reward for his work in the presidential campaign, but he had little interest in the job. When Lincoln showed the draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, the conservative Smith considered resignation upon its public announcement, but accepted the decision in the end. Smith resigned in December 1862 due to poor health and died a little over a year later.

William Smith (1797-1887), known as “Extra Billy,” was the 30th (1846-49) and 35th (1864-65) governor of Virginia. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1841-43 and 1853-61) and in Virginia state politics and the Confederate Congress (1862). A few weeks after the Civil War started, Smith was present during a Union cavalry charge at the Battle of Fairfax Court House (June 1861). He took command of the Confederate troops after the death of their commander and found he liked being an officer; he then requested a commission and was appointed colonel of the 49th Virginia Infantry. He was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines and again at the Battle of Antietam. Smith was promoted to brigadier general as of January 1863 and commanded a brigade at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Due to his poor performance at the Battle of Gettysburg, and being governor-elect by then, Smith resigned his commission. He nevertheless received an essentially honorary promotion to major general and Assistant Inspector General  and performed recruiting duty in Virginia. He was among the first Southern governors to advocate arming slaves to provide manpower for the Confederacy, and he occasionally returned to the field to command troops in the defense of Richmond. He was removed from office and arrested on May 9, 1865, and paroled on June 8.

James Speed (1812-1887) was a Kentucky lawyer, politician, and law professor. Before the Civil War, he served in the Kentucky House of Representatives (1847-49), on the Louisville Board of Aldermen (1851-54), and taught in the Law Department of the University of Louisville (1856-58 and 1872-79). During the War, Speed was a commander of the Louisville Home Guard, and a member of the Kentucky State Senate (1861-64). In 1864, he was appointed by Abraham Lincoln to be the 27th U.S. Attorney General, serving from December 1864 to July 1866. After the assassination of Lincoln, Speed became associated with the Radical Republicans and advocated the vote for male African Americans. Disillusioned with the increasingly conservative policies of President Andrew Johnson, Speed resigned from the Cabinet in July 1866 and resumed the practice of law.

Wyman Spooner (1795-1877) was a Wisconsin politician who at first aligned himself with the abolitionists, and then joined the Republican party after its organization in 1854. He was state assemblyman (1850, 1851, 1857, 1861) and state senator (1862-1863). In 1863 he was elected lieutenant governor, serving in this capacity from 1864 to 1870.

For more information:

William Sprague (1830-1915), a Union Party candidate, he was elected as the 27th governor of Rhode Island in 1860, the youngest governor of any state at the time. Believing that the Civil War would not last long, Sprague accompanied then-Colonel Ambrose E. Burnside and the Rhode Island brigade in the First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861). The Confederate victory made it clear to Sprague that the war would last longer. Although he was offered a commission as a brigadier general of Volunteers on August 9, 1861, he declined the appointment. Sprague served as governor until he resigned to become a U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, serving two terms from March 1863 to 1875.

Edwin M. Stanton.  Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814-1869) was the 25th U.S. Attorney General from December 20, 1860 to March 4, 1861, under President Buchanan, and the 27th U.S. Secretary of War from January 20, 1862-May 28, 1868, under first President Lincoln and then President Johnson. He was strongly opposed to secession and many historians credit Stanton with changing President Buchanan’s  policy to one of denouncing secession. Stanton becomes President Lincoln’s closest adviser during the Civil War. He will be very effective in administering the huge War Department and the massive military resources of the North.

For more information:

  • Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character, by Alonzo Rothschild (E 457 .R84 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library); digitally available on Google Books.
  • Stanton: The Life and Times of Lincoln’s Secretary of War, by Benjamin P. Thomas and Harold M. Hyman  (E 467.1 .S8 T45 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).
  • Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War, by Fletcher Pratt (E 467.1 .S8 P7 in the UWRF Chalmer Davee Library).

Alexander H. Stephens.  Alexander Hamilton Stephens (1812-1883) was a U.S. Representative from Georgia, both before the Civil War and after Reconstruction. He was a political ally and personal friend of Robert Toombs. Stephens was elected as a delegate to the Georgia secession convention and during the convention, as well as during the 1860 presidential campaign, Stephens called for the South to remain loyal to the Union. He voted against secession in the convention, but asserted the right to secede if the federal government continued allowing northern states to nullify the Fugitive Slave Law. He was elected to the Confederate Congress, and was chosen Vice President of the provisional government. He was then elected Vice President of the Confederate States of America. He took the oath of office on February 11, 1861, and served until May 11, 1865.

Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868) was a Republican representative from Pennsylvania and one of the most powerful members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the chairman of the House’s Ways and Means Committee and he wrote much of the financial legislation that paid for the Civil War.

Felix Grundy Stidger (1836-1908) was a young clerk who was recruited to become a Federal counter-spy within the Knights of the Golden Circle. He reported to Colonel Carrington, the Union commander at Indianapolis. He infiltrated the organization deep enough to become the Grand Secretary of the Sons of Liberty in Kentucky, second in command only to Bowles. He testified for two hours. Stidger wrote and self-published in 1903 a history of his connection with the organization, entitled Treason History of the Order of the Sons of Liberty, formerly Circle of Honor, Succeeded by Knights of the Golden Circle, afterward Order of American Knights, the Most Gigantic Treasonable Conspiracy the World Has Ever Known, 1864, available digitally on the Internet Archive. Modern reprints often go by the cover title, “Knights of the Golden Circle, Treason History, Sons of Liberty.”

William M. Stone.  William Milo Stone (1827-1893) was the sixth governor of Iowa, serving from 1864-1868. He had served as the captain of Company B, 3rd Iowa Infantry, and was taken prison at the Battle of Shiloh. After being paroled, he was promoted to colonel of the 22nd Iowa Infantry and was wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg. Stone was a friend of Abraham Lincoln and was present when Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre. Stone helped carry the wounded Lincoln across the street. After leaving the governor’s office in 1868, Stone served one term in the Iowa House of Representatives, 1877–78, and was appointed Assistant Commissioner and then Commissioner of the U.S. General Land Office.

Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts from 1851 until his death in 1874. In the Senate, he was a leader of the Radical Republicans who sought to destroy slavery and radically transform the South. In 1856, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks nearly killed Sumner on the Senate floor for ridiculing slave owners.

John H. Surratt, Jr.  John Harrison Surratt (1844-1916) served as a Confederate Secret Service courier and spy during the Civil War, and carried dispatches about Union troop movements across the Potomac River. Surratt met John Wilkes Booth in December, 1864, and Surratt agreed to help Booth kidnap Abraham Lincoln. Surratt did not take part in the assassination, but he was one of the first people suspected of the attack on Secretary of State William H. Seward. His mother, Mary Surratt, was convicted of conspiracy and hanged, but John avoided arrest by fleeing to Canada. He served briefly as a Papal Zouave before his later arrest and extradition from Egypt. Surratt was tried in a civilian court in Maryland, but the trial ended in a mistrial.

Mary Surratt.  Mary Elizabeth Jenkins Surratt (ca. 1820-23 to 1865) was convicted of taking part in the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, sentenced to death, and hanged. She was the first woman executed by the United States government. She was convicted of taking party in the conspiracy, the members of which met in her boarding house.

Roger B. Taney.  Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864) was the 5th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1836-1864), the 12th U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1833-1834), the 11th U.S. Attorney General (1831-1833), and was the acting U.S. Secretary of War from June 18 to August 1, 1831. “He is most remembered for delivering the majority opinion in Dred Scott v Sandford (1857), that ruled, among other things, that African-Americans, having been considered inferior at the time the Constitution was drafted, were not part of the original community of citizens and, whether free or slave, could not be considered citizens of the United States.” (Wikipedia)

Zachery Taylor (1784-1850) was the 12th president of the United States (March 1849-July 1850). Before his presidency, Taylor was a career military officer, rising to the rank of major general in the U.S. army. He made a name for himself in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, and the Second Seminole War, where he attracked national attention and earned him the nickname “Old Rough and Ready.” But it was his victories at the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey in the Mexican-American War that made him a national hero and won him election to the White House, despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died seventeen months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress.

Jacob Thompson (1810-1885) served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1839-1851), was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1845 but never took his seat, and was the U. S. Secretary of the Interior (1857-1861). Thompson sided with the Confederacy and resigned as Interior Secretary in January 1861, and become Inspector General of the Confederate States Army. When he resigned, Horace Greeley denounced him as a traitor. In March 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis asked Thompson to lead a secret delegation to Canada, where he appears to have been the leader of Confederate Secret Service operations in Canada. From here, he is known to have organized many anti-Union plots, and was suspected of many more.

David Tod (1805-1868) was the 25th governor of Ohio. He was a Democrat who supported the war effort and gained the nickname “the soldier’s friend.”

Robert A. Toombs.  Robert Augustus Toombs (1910-1885) was a U.S. Senator from Georgia until February 4, 1861. He became the first Secretary of State for the Confederacy on February 25, 1861, and was a Confederate general in the Civil War.

George Francis Train (1829-1904) was an American entrepreneur who organized the clipper ship line that sailed around Cape Horn to San Francisco, and he organized the Union Pacific Railroad and the Crédit Mobilier in the United States in 1864 to construct the western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad. He spent most of the Civil War in England building a horse tramway company. In 1870 Train made a trip around the globe and his exploits likely inspired Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days. In 1872 he ran for president of the United States as an independent candidate and was a staunch supporter of the temperance movement.

Lyman Trumbull (1813-1896) was a U.S. Senator from Illinois from 1855-1873. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee (1861-72), he co-authored the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited slavery. During the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, Trumbull was one of seven Republican senators (along with James W. Grimes) to break party ranks and vote for acquittal. Trumbull’s first wife, Julia Maria Jayne, was an erstwhile friend of Mary Todd Lincoln, and the sister of Lincoln’s personal physician in Springfield, Dr. William Jayne, whom Lincoln appointed as the first governor of Dakota Territory.

John Tyler (1790-1862), 10th President of the United States (1841-1845). Tyler was a long-time advocate of states’ rights. He re-entered political life in 1861 to sponsor and chair the Virginia Peace Convention, and became a delegate to the Provisional Confederate Congress.

John P. Usher.  John Palmer Usher (1816-1889) was the 7th U. S. Secretary of the Interior, serving from 1863-65. He was known as a genial, courteous, and unobtrusive secretary. In November 1863, he accompanied President Lincoln to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

William L. Utley (1814-1887) was a Wisconsin state assemblyman (1851-1852) and a state senator (1861-1862). Appointed state adjutant general in 1861, Utley was instrumental in securing the rapid mobilization of Wisconsin units for the Civil War. “The Camp at Racine is named ‘Utley’ out of compliment to the gallant and popular Adjutant General” (from the June 19, 1861, Hudson North Star). In 1862 he was commissioned colonel of the 22nd Wisconsin Infantry.

Clement L. Vallandigham.  Clement Laird Vallandigham (1820-1871) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio and a and leader of the Copperhead faction of anti-war Democrats.  Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton,  and Vallandigham were “intimate personal friends” before the Civil War. Both Vallandigham and Stanton were Democrats, but had opposing views of slavery and Vallandigham was a vigorous supporter of constitutional states’ rights. In 1862, Vallandigham lost his bid for a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, by a relatively large vote. In 1863, after General Ambrose E. Burnside issued General Order Number 38, warning that the “habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy” would not be tolerated in the Military District of Ohio, Vallandigham gave a major speech on May 1, 1863, charging that the war was being fought not to save the Union but to free the slaves by sacrificing the liberty of all Americans. On May 5 Vallandigham was arrested for violating General Order Number 38, and was tried by military court on May 6-7. On May 19, 1863, President Lincoln ordered Vallandigham deported and sent to the Confederacy. When he was within Confederate lines, Vallandigham said: “I am a citizen of Ohio, and of the United States. I am here within your lines by force, and against my will. I therefore surrender myself to you as a prisoner of war.” Vallandigham left the Confederacy, ending up in Canada where he declared himself a candidate for Governor of Ohio. He won the Democratic nomination in absentia, but lost the election in a landslide to pro-Union War Democrat John Brough.

Andrew J. Van Vorhes (1824-1873) was a newspaperman, the son of a newspaperman. He came to Stillwater, Minnesota, in 1855 and in 1856 established the Stillwater Messenger, which he ran until 1868. In 1860 he was a member of the Minnesota Legislature and in 1862 was selected as an agent to aid with the Indian payments, which is why he was at Fort Ridgely. In 1863 he was nominated as an assistant Quartermaster with the rank of captain and he served in that capacity into 1865.

Zebulon Baird Vance (1830-1870) was the 37th (1862-65) and 43rd (1877-79) governor of North Carolina, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina (1858-61), colonel of the 26th North Carolina Infantry—which was destroyed at the Battle of Gettysburg, though Vance by that time was governor—and U.S. senator from North Carolina (1879-94). As a Civil War governor, Vance was a major proponent of individual rights and local self-government, often putting him at odds with the Confederate government of Jefferson Davis. North Carolina was the only state to observe the right of habeas corpus and keep its courts fully functional during the war. Also, Vance refused to allow supplies smuggled into North Carolina by blockade runners to be given to other states until North Carolinians had their share.

Daniel W. Voorhees (1827-1897) was a lawyer from Indiana, who was also a leader of the Democratic party and an anti-war Copperhead, although not so radical as Clement Vallandigham and others. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1861-1866 and 1869-1873) and the U.S. Senate (1877-1897) from Indiana.

Benjamin F. Wade.  Benjamin Franklin Wade (1800-1878) was a U.S. Senator from Ohio during the Civil War (1851-1869). From 1861 to 1862 he was chairman of the important Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War. In 1862, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories, he was instrumental in abolishing slavery in the Federal Territories. Wade was highly critical of President Lincoln and of his Reconstruction Plan. He took a leading role among the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. Wade and most Radical Republicans were highly critical of President Johnson, and in 1867), Wade became the President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, which meant that under the law of that time he was next in line for the presidency, as Johnson had no vice president. Wade was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican vice presidential nomination in 1868.

L. P. Walker.  LeRoy Pope Walker (1817-1884) was the first Confederate Secretary of War, serving from February 25-September 16, 1861. He is perhaps best known for issuing the orders to fire on Fort Sumter. He also served briefly as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army.

C. C. Washburn.  Cadwallader Colden Washburn (1818-1882) was a U.S. Congressman, Civil War officer, industrial empire builder, founder of General Mills, and the 11th governor of Wisconsin. Few people of his generation had as much influence on Wisconsin history.

Washburn, a Republican, served in the U.S. Congress from 1855-1861, and again after the Civil War, 1867-1870 (five terms in all).  At the same time, he broadened his business operations in banking and real estate.  Early in 1861 he moved to La Crosse and was sent as a delegate to an unsuccessful peace convention held in Washington, D.C., that had hoped to prevent the impending Civil War.

After the outbreak of hostilities, Washburn accepted an appointment as colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry, on October 10, 1861.  The following spring he led it south into Arkansas to join Union forces in the West.  Washburn was promoted to brigadier general in June 1862.  He took command of not only of his regiment, but also the entire 2nd Cavalry Brigade.  On July 7, 1862, it defeated Confederate forces at Cotton Plant, Arkansas, and then marched east to take possession of Helena, Arkansas.  From there it supported the Union campaign against Vicksburg, Mississippi.

In March 1863 Washburn was commissioned a major general with command over all Union cavalry in West Tennessee, headquartered at Memphis.  After the Siege of Vicksburg in the summer of 1863, Washburn’s command was moved to New Orleans.  In August he led 16,000 men in support of the Red River Expedition, occupying and pacifying large areas along the Texas Coast.  He spent most of 1864 and the spring of 1865 in command at Memphis and Vicksburg.

After leaving the military in May 1865, Washburn returned to La Crosse. In 1866, he opened his first flour mill in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which became known as General Mills, and served again in Congress, from 1867 to 1870.  He was elected governor of Wisconsin in the fall of 1871 and served from 1872-1874.

For more information:

Elihu B. Washburne.  Elihu Benjamin Washburne (1816-1887) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (M.C. means Member of Congress) from 1853-1869, the 25th U.S. Secretary of State (for 11 days in 1869), and the U.S. Minister to France (1869-1877). He was a political ally of President Lincoln and General, later President, Ulysses S. Grant. As a leader of the Radical Republicans, Washburne opposed the Reconstruction policies of President Andrew Johnson and supported African-American suffrage and civil rights. At the age of 14, Elihu Washburne added the letter “e” to his surname, which was the original ancestral spelling. Washburne was a brother of C. C. Washburn, colonel of the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry and 11th governor of Wisconsin.

Thomas H. Watts.  Thomas Hill Watts (1819-1892) was the 18th governor of Alabama, serving from 1863 to 1865. Prior to being governor, he was the Confederate States Attorney General (1862-63). Originally pro-Union in the 1850s, by the time of the Civil War he played an important role in the secession of Alabama and signed the secession ordinance. As governor, Watts faced rising desertion rates, states’ rights issues, conscription problems, the defense of Mobile, blockade-running, and cotton trading with Europe. During the winter of 1864-65, Watts had to deal with the increasing number of sacrifices demanded of his state, the breakdown of authority, the drain on war power, and an evaporating hope of victory, all of which contributed to the state’s war-weariness. Well aware of his ineffectiveness and unpopularity by this time, he made no effort to get re-elected.

James B. Weaver.  James Baird Weaver (1833-1912) was a lawyer and abolitionist in Iowa before the Civil War. Weaver enlisted as a private in the 2nd Iowa Infantry in 1861 and soon received a commission as a lieutenant. He fought at the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, and Second Corinth. Weaver was promoted to major prior to Corinth and to colonel immediately following the battle. By the end of the war, he had been made brevet brigadier general. After the war he became active in Iowa politics. James B. Weaver was twice a candidate for President of the United States, in 1880 (Greenback Party) and 1892 (Populist Party).

Gideon Welles (1802-1878) was the 24th U.S. Secretary of the Navy, serving from March 1861 to March 1869. His buildup of the Navy to blockade Southern ports was a key component of the Northern victory in the Civil War. His implementation of the Naval portion of the Anaconda Plan strongly weakened the Confederacy’s ability to finance the war by limiting the cotton trade. Welles was also instrumental in the Navy’s creation of the Medal of Honor.

James M. Wells.  James Madison Wells (1808-1899) was the 20th governor of Louisiana (1865-67), serving during Reconstruction. In 1860, he supported Stephen A. Douglas for president and was an ardent supporter of the Union. For that, he was criticized by his neighbors and his brother, and during the Civil War he was arrested by Confederate officials for his Union sympathies. By 1864, Union troops controlled all or part of 17 parishes in south Louisiana. Wells formed the Unconditional Union Club of West Louisiana. He was nominated both by radicals and moderates to be lieutenant governor. A conservative, he had little interest in the rights of African-Americans.

“Long” John Wentworth (1815-1888) was the editor of the Chicago Democrat, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1843-1851, 1853-1855, 1865-1867). In 1861 was the mayor of Chicago.

William Whiting (1813-1873) was a lawyer from Boston. He served as solicitor of the War Department 1862-1865. In 1868 he was a presidential elector, and in 1872 was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts, serving from March 4, 1873, to his death on June 29 of that same year. He wrote The War Powers of the President and the Legislative Powers of Congress in Relation to Rebellion, Treason, and Slavery (Boston, 1862; 10th ed., with large additions, 1863). He urged that the U. S. government had full belligerent rights against the inhabitants of seceded states, and without going beyond the Constitution could confiscate their property, emancipate their slaves, and treat them as public enemies.

Luther H. Whittlesey was from Mineral Point, Wisconsin. He started service as the captain of Company E of the 11th Wisconsin Infantry, and was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 11th Wisconsin on June 7, 1863, when the previous lieutenant colonel (Charles A. Wood) resigned.

Louis T. Wigfall.  Louis Trezevant Wigall (1816-1874) was a Texas politician who served in the U.S. Senate, 1859-March 23, 1861, and in the Confederate Senate, 1862-1865.  He arrived in Charleston as the siege of Fort Sumter commenced. While he was indeed serving as a volunteer aide to General Beauregard, he had not see the General in two days when he took it upon himslef to row out to Fort Sumter. The official delegation from Beauregard’s staff—Major Lee, Porcher Miles, Senator Chesnut, and Roger A. Pryor—arrived later with the General’s terms.

Morton S. Wilkinson.  Morton Smith Wilkinson (1819-1894) moved to Stillwater, Minnesota, in 1847 and was elected to the first territorial legislature in 1849.  He served as a U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1859 to 1865 and was chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims, and as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota from 1869 to 1871.  He is best known for  introducing the U.S. Senate to a letter written to Jefferson Davis by Jesse D. Bright on March 1, 1861, involving firearm trades, which resulted in Bright being expelled from the Senate.

Henry A. Wise.  Henry Alexander Wise (1806-1876), a lawyer, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia (1833-1844), U.S. minister to Brazil (1844-1847), the 33rd governor of Virginia (1856-1860), and a Confederate general. As a member of the Virginia secession convention of 1861, Wise supported immediate secession. After Virginia seceded, he joined the Confederate Army and was commissioned a brigadier general. He commanded the Confederate soldiers at Roanoke Island, but had a modest force of about 1,900 effective men.  His part in the decision to surrender the island to the much larger Union forces angered some of the Confederate leaders.

Benjamin Wood (1820-1900), brother of New York City Mayor Fernando Wood, was the editor and publisher of the New York Daily News (not the same as the current newspaper of that title). In 1861 the federal government effectively shut down the paper for being sympathetic with the enemy. Wood was able to re-open the paper 18 months later. While it was closed, he wrote the novel Fort Lafayette or, Love and Secession. Wood was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Congresses, serving 1861-65 and 1881-83, and to the New York State Senate in 1866 and 1867.

Fernando Wood (1812-1881) was a Democratic politician. He served as  mayor of New York City (1855-1857 and 1860-1862) and as a U.S. Representative from New York (1841–1843, 1863–1865, and 1867–1881). Wood was one of many New York Democrats sympathetic to the Confederacy because he wanted the profitable Southern cotton trade to continue. He even suggested that New York declare itself a free city in order to continue the trade.

William L. Yancy.  William Lowndes Yancey (1814-1863) was a journalist (Greenville Mountaineer [S.C.]), politician (U.S. House, 1844-1846; Confederate Senator, 1862-1863), orator, and diplomat. A member of the group known as the Fire-Eaters, Yancey was one of the most effective agitators for Southern secession and a rhetorical defender of slavery. During the Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Yancey to head a diplomatic delegation to Europe, hoping to secure formal recognition for the Confederacy. Yancey suffered from ill health for much of his life and died July 27, 1863,  at the age of 48.

Richard Yates (1815-1873) was the 13th governor of Illinois, from January 1861-January 1865. As governor, Yates was an outspoken opponent of slavery and sent more volunteers to serve as Union troops than any other state. He also served as a U.S. senator from Illinois (1865-71), U.S. Representative from Illinois (1851-55), and in the Illinois House of Representatives (1842-45 and 1848-9).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: