Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album. http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html
John Cabell Breckinridge was
born near Lexington, Kentucky, January 15, 1821. He was graduated from Centre
College in 1839, and after legal studies at Transylvania University, he began
practicing law in Lexington in 1845. He enjoyed a meteoric political career and
was elected Vice President of the United States at the age of thirty-five. A
member of the Kentucky legislature, 1849-51, and of the House of
Representatives, 1851-55, he was in 1856 the successful candidate for the vice
presidency with Buchanan. In 1859, a year and a half before his term was to
expire, he was elected to the U. S. Senate by the Kentucky legislature. He
opposed war in the special session of 1861, but when Kentucky declared for the
Union in September, he accepted a commission as Confederate brigadier, November
2, 1861, and was promoted major general to rank from April 14, 1862. He
commanded the Reserve Corps at Shiloh, and in the summer of 1862 defended
Vicksburg. Failing in an attack on Baton Rouge, he distinguished himself
successively at Murfreesboro, in Johnston's campaign to relieve Vicksburg, and
at Chickamauga. Having commanded the Department of Southwest Virginia for a time
in 1864, he later accompanied General Early in the raid on Washington, and on
February 4, 1865 was appointed by President Davis Confederate Secretary of War.
Following the surrender he went to England, thence to Canada, returning to
Kentucky in 1869, where he was perhaps the most popular man in the state.
Because of his political disabilities he disclaimed all ambitions, and quietly
resumed his law practice. He died in Lexington, May 17, 1875, from the results
of a serious operation, and is buried there.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.