BUST VIEW OF CONFEDERATE GENERAL JOHN S. PRESTON

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Item Code: 1138-452

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Vignette bust view of Preston in Confederate uniform.

Contrast and clarity are excellent as is the mount and paper. Bottom center of the mount has an old pencil ID of “JOHN P. PRESTON.”

Reverse is blank but for a cancelled orange 2 cent tax stamp. Period pencil ID reads “JOHN P. PRESTON.” Middle initial should actually be “S.” Collector information in pencil is present at bottom.

From the collection of the late William A. Turner.

John Smith Preston was born at Salt Works, near Abingdon, Va., on April 20, 1809, of Irish descent, his ancestors having emigrated from Donegal, Ireland, in the early part of the seventeenth century.

He was educated at Hampden-Sidney college and graduated at that institution in 1824.  He then studied law at the University of Virginia and Harvard college.  In 1830 he married Caroline, daughter of Gen. Wade Hampton, and settled at Abingdon, Va., where he began the practice of his profession, but later removed to Columbia, S. C.

He was engaged for several years in sugar planting in Louisiana, also devoted a great deal of his time to literary pursuits, and the collection of paintings and statuary.  His interest in art led him to assist many struggling young men of genius, notably Hiram Powers, who in appreciation, gave him the replica of the "Greek Slave."

General Preston was a distinguished orator, and made many brilliant addresses, among them the speech of welcome to the Palmetto Regiment on its return from the Mexican War in 1848.

He was an ardent secessionist, and in May, 1860, was chairman of the South Carolina delegation to the Democratic convention that met at Charleston.  After the election of President Lincoln, he was a commissioner to Virginia, and in February, 1861, made an eloquent plea in favor of the withdrawal of that State from the Union.

He entered the Confederate army, and served on the staff of General Beauregard during 1861 and 1862, receiving special commendation for efficiency in the first battle of Bull Run.  He was promoted June 10, 1864, brigadier-general in the provisional army of the Confederate States, and placed in charge of the bureau of conscription, in which office he rendered valuable service.

He went to England shortly after the war, and remained several years.  After his return he delivered an address at a commencement of the University of Virginia, which, as a fervent assertion of the right of secession, incurred the severe criticism of the Northern press.  His last appearance as an orator was on the occasion of unveiling the Confederate monument at Columbia.

Preston died in Columbia, South Carolina on May 1, 1881 and is buried there in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Cemetery. [ad] [ph:L]

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