Born in Georgia in 1815, Howell Cobb was an important politician who held a number of state and federal offices before the Civil War (1861–1865). He was a Democrat whose political career was often frustrated; Cobb had numerous political foes because of his moderate position vis-a-vis the North before the war. His efforts at conciliation were evident with his support of the Compromise of 1850; at the time, he was Speaker of the 31st Congress. Finally, he gave up on compromise after Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860.
Cobb then joined the South's army and rose to the rank of major general. He commanded Georgia's troops until the end of the war, surrendering in April 1865.
When the war ended, Cobb remained quiet. His silence lasted for three years. After he had received a pardon in 1868, he publicly denounced Reconstruction (1865–1877). The Military Reconstruction Act of 1867 had divided the South into five military districts, so Cobb sent a letter of protest to the Northern...
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