CDV OF ROBERT A. TOOMBS, C.S. GENERAL & LATER GEORGIA SENATOR

$125.00

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Item Code: 1138-1568

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Chest-up view of Toombs. Image is clear with good contrast. Mount is clean and in good condition. Period ink identification on back. Photographer's backmark, Charles Fredericks & Co., New York.

Robert Augustus Toombs (July 2, 1810 – December 15, 1885) was an American politician from Georgia, who was an important figure in the formation of the Confederacy. From a privileged background, Toombs embarked on a political career marked by effective oratory, although he also acquired a reputation for hard living, disheveled appearance, and irascibility. He was identified with Alexander H. Stephens's libertarian wing of secessionist opinion, and in contradistinction to the nationalist Jefferson Davis, Toombs believed a Civil War to be neither inevitable or winnable by the South. Appointed as Secretary of State of the Confederacy (which lacked political parties) Toombs was against the decision to attack Fort Sumter, and resigned from Davis's Cabinet. After the war he avoided detention by traveling to Europe. On his return two years later, he declined to ask for a pardon, and successfully stood for election in Georgia when Congressional Reconstruction ended in 1877.

Within months of his Confederate Cabinet appointment, a frustrated Toombs resigned to join the Confederate States Army. He was commissioned as a brigadier general on July 19, 1861, and served first as a brigade commander in the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac, and then in David R. Jones' division of the Army of Northern Virginia. He commanded troops through the Peninsula Campaign, Seven Days Battles, Northern Virginia Campaign, and Maryland Campaign. He was wounded in the hand at the Battle of Antietam, where he commanded the heroic defense of Burnside's Bridge.

Toombs resigned his CSA commission on March 3, 1863. He returned to Georgia, where he became Colonel of the 3rd Cavalry of the Georgia Militia. He subsequently served as a brigadier general and adjutant and inspector-general of General Gustavus W. Smith's division of Georgia militia. Newspapers warned that he verged on treason. During the Battle of Columbus (1865), Toombs's reluctance to use canister shot on a mixture of Union and Confederate soldiers resulted in the loss of a key bridge in the war's final significant action.

Toombs died December 15, 1885. He was buried at Resthaven Cemetery in Wilkes County, Georgia with his wife, his daughter, and son-in-law.

This image was from the collection of the late William A. Turner.  [jet] [PH:L]

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