CDV OF C.S. GENERAL THOMAS F. DRAYTON

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Bust view of Drayton. Image is slightly light. No photographer’s backmark.

Thomas Fenwick Drayton (August 24, 1809 – February 18, 1891) was a planter, politician, railroad president, and military officer from Charleston, South Carolina. He served in the United States Army and then as a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. His brother, Percival Drayton, was a Naval Officer and fought on the Union side during the war.

Drayton was appointed a Brigadier General in September 1861 and placed in command of the military district at Port Royal, South Carolina. Drayton subsequently used "Fish Hall Plantation", which his wife owned, as headquarters in the defense of Hilton Head Island. Drayton assigned many of his own 102 slaves on the island to construct defenses and do other work to support the Confederates.

At the Battle of Port Royal later that year, troops under his command at Fort Beauregard and Fort Walker came under attack by ships of the Union Navy, including the USS Pocahontas, commanded by his brother, Percival Drayton. After a lengthy bombardment, both forts fell to the Union attackers, who subsequently occupied much of the region.

In 1862, Drayton was assigned command of an infantry brigade that joined the Army of Northern Virginia after the Seven Days Battles and became part of the Right Wing of the Army of Northern Virginia under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet. Drayton led his brigade at Second Bull Run and in the Maryland Campaign.

Robert E. Lee became displeased with Drayton's performance. Drayton had failed to get his brigade into action at Second Bull Run, and it was then driven from the field in panic at both South Mountain and Antietam. The brigade was broken up and its regiments transferred to other brigades. Drayton himself was transferred to the Western Theater to command a brigade in Sterling Price's army. During the final two years of the war, he performed administrative duties in the Trans-Mississippi.

Following the surrender of Confederate forces in the spring of 1865, Drayton moved to Dooly County, Georgia, where he managed a plantation. Destitute and unable to reclaim his confiscated property in South Carolina, in 1871, he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he sold insurance for a living. Drayton was president of the South Carolina Immigrant Society until shortly before his death in Florence, South Carolina, at the age of 81. He was buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte.  [jet] [PH:L]

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