CDV OF CONFEDERATE GENERAL WILLIAM PRESTON

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Item Code: 1138-451

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Waist-up portrait of Preston in Confederate uniform. He wears a double-breasted frock with general’s collar insignia. Image clear with very good contrast. Period ink identification “Gen Preston” on lower edge of mount. Photographer’s backmark, C.D. Fredericks & Co., New York. Another period ink identification and some modern pencil notes on reverse.

William Preston (October 16, 1816 – September 21, 1887) was an American lawyer, politician, and ambassador. He also was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.

The grandson of Col. William Preston—the namesake of Prestonville, Kentucky—was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from St. Joseph's College in Kentucky and attended Yale College in 1835 and graduated from the law department of Harvard University in 1838.

He served as lieutenant colonel of the 4th Kentucky Volunteers in the Mexican–American War from 1847 to 1848. After the war, he was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1849 and a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1850. Subsequently, he served in the State senate 1851–1853. President James Buchanan appointed Preston as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Spain in 1858. He resigned as ambassador in 1861 at the outbreak of the Civil War.

Although his home state of Kentucky did not secede from the Union, Preston served in the Confederate Army, attaining the rank of brigadier general in 1862. He was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from the Confederacy to Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico in 1864.

After the war, he again served as a member of the Kentucky State House of Representatives in 1868 and 1869. William Preston died in 1887 in Louisville and was interred there in Cave Hill Cemetery.  [jet] [ph:L]

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