Howell Cobb, born at "Cherry Hill," Jefferson County, Georgia, September 7, 1815, was graduated from the University of Georgia in 1834, and admitted to the bar two years later. He served in Congress from 1843 to 1851, and was Speaker of the House from 1849 to 1851, when he was overwhelmingly elected governor of Georgia on a Union platform. He returned to Congress in 1855, and was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Buchanan in 1857. Upon the election of Lincoln in 1860, he advocated immediate secession. He was a strong candidate for president of the new Confederacy, and was presiding officer of the Montgomery convention which brought it into being. For a time, he served in the Provisional Congress after Jefferson Davis' election; then he took the field as a soldier, being appointed brigadier general to rank from February 12, 1862, and major general from September 9, 1863. Cobb rendered distinguished service in the field, but probably his most important contribution to the Confederate cause was as commander of the District of Georgia. There, as representative of the Richmond administration, he strove to resolve the differences between Davis and Governor Joseph E. Brown. He did not long survive the war, dying in New York City while on a business trip, October 9, 1868. General Cobb is buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery, Athens, Georgia.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.