George Wythe Randolph
George Wythe Randolph was born at "Monticello"—the home of his maternal grandfather, Thomas Jefferson — near Charlottesville, Virginia, on March 10, 1818. At the age of thirteen he was appointed a midshipman in the navy, and served at sea for the next six years. He entered the University of Virginia in 1837, and in 1839 resigned from the navy. He also studied law and began practicing in Albemarle County. In 1850 he moved to Richmond. He organized the Richmond Howitzers after the John Brown raid, and served as one of Virginia's peace commissioners to Washington in 1861. Randolph commanded the Howitzers on the Peninsula that same summer, and was present at Big Bethel as General Magruder's chief of artillery. Promoted brigadier general to rank from February 12, 1862, he accepted the war portfolio in the Confederate Cabinet the following month. Since President Davis was in effect his own secretary of war, even in the matter of detail appointments, the position was little more than a clerkship, and Randolph resigned on November 15, 1862. It was soon discovered that he was suffering from tuberculosis, and he went to France for his health, ultimately resigning his army commission on December 18, 1864. After the war he returned to Virginia, but failed to recover. He died at "Edgehill," a family estate near Charlottesville, on April 3, 1867. He is buried at "Monticello."
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.