George Blake Cosby

Brigadier General

Headstones: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.

George Blake Cosby, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, was born on January 19, 1830, and received his early education in private schools. Graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1852, he resigned his commission in the old army one day after his promotion to captain in the 2nd Cavalry, May 10, 1861. As a staff major Cosby bore from General S. B. Buckner to General U. S. Grant the communication which opened negotiations for the surrender of Fort Donelson in February 1862. At the request of General Joseph E. Johnston he was promoted brigadier general to rank from January 20, 1863. He led a cavalry brigade in General Van Dorn's command, later serving under J. E. Johnston in the campaign around Jackson, Mississippi, designed to relieve Vicksburg. During the last years of the war he was stationed in the Department of West Virginia and East Tennessee. Following the war General Cosby moved to Butte County, California, where he engaged in farming. Subsequently he held a number of state and Federal positions, among which were the secretaryship of the Board of State Engineers and membership on the West Point Board of Visitors. He committed suicide at Oakland, California, June 29, 1909, allegedly because of the effects of old wounds received in Confederate service. His body was cremated and the ashes taken to Sacramento for burial in City Cemetery.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.