CDV OF CONFEDERATE GENERAL THOMAS CLINGMAN

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Item Code: 1138-91

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Chest-up lithograph view of Clingman in an idealized general’s uniform.

Contrast and clarity is good. Mount and paper have light surface dirt. Paper has a small scratch near the General’s eye.

Reverse is blank but for a period ink ID that reads “THOMAS LANIER CLINGMAN” along with some collector’s information in pencil at bottom.

From the collection of the late William A. Turner.

Thomas Lanier Clingman was born at Huntsville, North Carolina on July 27, 1812. Young Clingman was graduated by the university of North Carolina, and began the practice of law at Hillsboro, where in 1835 he was elected to the legislature as a Whig, beginning a career of national prominence in politics.  Removing to Asheville in 1836, he won considerable fame in a public discussion, concerning a proposed railroad, with Colonel Memminger, of South Carolina, and was elected to the State senate.

He speedily assumed leadership in the Whig party and in 1843 was elected to Congress, where he served in the lower house until 1858, continuously with the exception of the twenty-ninth Congress.  In 1858 he was appointed United States senator to succeed Asa Biggs, and at the end of this term was elected.

He took part in many famous debates in Congress, and attained a position of leadership in national affairs.  His speech on the causes of the defeat of Henry Clay led to a duel with William L. Yancey, of Alabama.

On January 21, 1861, he withdrew from Congress with the other Southern members, and in May was selected to bear assurances to the Confederate Congress that North Carolina would enter the Confederacy.  Volunteering for the military service, though nearly fifty years of age, he was elected colonel of the Twenty-fifth infantry, and eight months later was promoted brigadier-general.

His principal services were in command at the defense of Goldsboro; at Sullivan's Island and Battery Wagner during the attack on Charleston; the attack on New Bern in February, 1864; the defeat of Butler at Drewry's Bluff, May, 1864; the battle of Cold Harbor, where he was wounded; the repulse of the Federal attack on Petersburg, June 17th, and the battle on the Weldon Railroad, August 19th.

In the latter fight he was severely wounded, and was unable to rejoin his command until a few days before the surrender at Greensboro.

After the war he was quite distinguished in law, statecraft and war.  He explored the mountains of North Carolina, establishing the fact that they contained the loftiest peaks of the Appalachian range, one of the chief of which, measured by him in 1855, now bears his name; opened the mica mines of Mitchell and Yancey counties; made known the existence of corundum, zircon, rubies and other gems in the State; furnished valuable evidence of the depth of the atmosphere by his observations on the August meteor of 1860, and affirmed long before the days of Edison that sound might in some way be transmitted with the speed of electricity.

He published several volumes, including his public addresses.  In later years the unselfish services which had brought him fame left him without the comforts of life, and the close of his days was a pathetic illustration of how the world may forget.

General Clingman died in Morganton, North Carolina on November 3, 1897 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina.  [ad]  [PH:L]

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