Albert Creswell Garlington
Albert Creswell Garlington,
brigadier general of South Carolina militia, was born on June 9, 1822, in
Oglethorpe County, Georgia. His father, Christopher Garlington, was a native of
Lancaster County, Virginia, and a distant cousin of President Madison. His
mother was Eliza Aycock of Georgia. Garlington graduated from the University of
Georgia in 1842 with the highest honors. Removing to South Carolina, he was
admitted to the bar in 1844- Settling in Newberry (his wife's hometown) in 1848,
"he soon made a fine reputation as a lawyer and orator. He was one of the finest
and most eloquent speakers I ever listened to." A "secessionist fire-eater,"
Garlington was elected to the South Carolina House in 1850 and reelected in
1852. In 1854 he lost a congressional contest to the equally avid secessionist
Preston Brooks. Garlington won election to the state senate in 1856 and served
through 1864. He also found time to be a director of the Greeneville and
Columbia Railroad and a brigadier general of the 10th Brigade of the South
Upon secession Governor Pickens appointed Garlington one of four members of his Council of State. By action of the council, its members were each assigned a separate department. Garlington was assigned the Department of the Interior, with responsibility for coastal defenses and militia. With the transfer of the defenses and troops to Confederate authorities in April, 1861, Garlington and the council resigned. Within a few days the governor commissioned Garlington brigadier general of the 3rd Brigade of the South Carolina Volunteers. Garlington headed up a post of instruction at Columbia, South Carolina, and began training the troops. The regiments of the brigade were mustered into Confederate service that summer and left for Virginia. With the transfer Garlington's brigade command dissolved, and he joined the Confederate army. On December 19, 1861, Garlington was commissioned major of the "Holcombe Legion," a new South Carolina unit named after the governor's wife. The unit helped guard the South Carolina coast that winter, seeing action only in a skirmish on Edisto Island. Garlington resigned this commission on May 21, 1862. His services being deemed more valuable in administration, he was appointed by the governor to fill the posts of state adjutant general and inspector general. State senator through 1864, Garlington ran a strong race for governor in that year but lost. During the Carolinas campaign of 1864 and 1865 Garlington again donned a uniform and led a brigade of militia opposing Sherman's advance. His brigade evacuated Columbia, the state capital, on the approach of Sherman's army and retreated north. In late February, 1865, he disbanded the brigade.
Elected again to the state house in 1865, Garlington served there through 1867. After this Garlington settled in Atlanta, Georgia, remaining there for some years and then returning to South Carolina. For the last several years of his life he retired from law practice to live on his Newberry farm. General Garlington died at Newberry on March 27, 1885, and is buried in the Rosemont Cemetery in Newberry.
General Garlington's command of a brigade of militia that served in a campaign qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.
Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.