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Item #: CWB12142
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Brigadier-General Milledge Luke Bonham was born near Red Bank, 
Edgefield district, December 22, 1813, the son of Capt. James 
Bonham, who came from Virginia to South Carolina about the 
close of the last century, and married Sophie, daughter of 
Jacob Smith, niece of Capt. James Butler, head of an 
illustrious South Carolina family.  The grandfather of General 
Bonham was Maj. Absalom Bonham, a native of Maryland and a 
soldier of the revolutionary war.

General Bonham, after graduation at the South Carolina 
college, had his first military experience as a volunteer in 
the company of Capt. James Jones, in the Seminole war, and was 
promoted to brigade major, a position corresponding to 
adjutant-general of brigade.  Subsequently, while beginning 
his career as a lawyer and legislator, he continued his 
association with the militia and attained the rank of major-

When war began with Mexico he went to the front as lieutenant-
colonel of the Twelfth United States infantry, and served with 
distinction, earning promotion to colonel, and remained in 
Mexico a year after the close of the war, as military governor 
of one of the provinces.

Then returning home he resumed the practice of law, was 
elected solicitor of the southern circuit, and in 1856, upon 
the death of Preston S. Brooks, was chosen as the successor of 
that gentleman in Congress.

Upon the secession of the State he promptly resigned and was 
appointed commander-in-chief of the South Carolina army, with 
the rank of major-general.  In this capacity, and waiving all 
questions of rank and precedence, at the request of Governor 
Pickens, he served upon the coast in hearty cooperation with 
General Beauregard, sent there by the provisional government 
of the Confederate States.

At a later date he was commissioned brigadier-general in the 
provisional army, and he took to Richmond the first troops, 
not Virginian, that arrived for the defense of the capital.  
His regiments were commanded by Colonels Kershaw, Williams, 
Cash and Bacon, and were conspicuous in the operations before 
Washington and in the first battle of Manassas.

Afterward, in consequence of a disagreement with the war 
department, he resigned and was elected to the Confederate 
Congress.  In December, 1862, he was elected governor of the 
State, an of office which he filled with credit.

In January, 1865, he was appointed to command of a brigade of 
cavalry, in the organization of which he was engaged at the 
close of military operations.

His subsequent career was marked by the same ardent 
patriotism.  As a delegate to President Grant from the 
taxpayers' convention, and a supporter of the revolution of 
1876, he rendered the State valuable service.  He was the 
first railroad commissioner of South Carolina, in 1878, and 
subsequently chairman of the commission until his death, 
August 27, 1890.

As a soldier he is described as "one of the finest looking 
officers in the entire army.  His tall, graceful figure, 
commanding appearance, noble bearing and soldierly mien, all 
excited the admiration and confidence of his troops.  He wore 
a broad-brimmed hat with a waving plume, and sat his horse 
with the knightly grace of Charles the Bold or Henry of 
Navarre.  His soldiers were proud of him, and loved to do him 
homage.  While he was a good disciplinarian, so far as the 
volunteer service required, he did not treat his officers with 
any air of superiority."
Shipping Weight: 0.45 lb
Item # CWB12142
 $225.00 USD