John Doby Kennedy

Monument: Find-a-Grave

John Doby Kennedy was born at Camden, South Carolina, January 5, 1840. He attended South Carolina College from 1855 to 1857. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar a few weeks before the outbreak of the Civil War. Enlisting in the 2nd South Carolina Infantry in April 1861, he was elected captain of Company E, and became colonel of the regiment in January 1862, after the promotion of Joseph B. Kershaw to brigadier. Kennedy was wounded at First Manassas, and incapacitated by fever after the battle of Savage's Station during the Seven Days.  He subsequently took part in all the engagements of Kershaw's brigade (and division) from Jackson's capture of Harpers Ferry in 1862 to the battle of Cedar Creek in 1864.  After the fall of Atlanta, Governor Magrath of South Carolina requested that the brigade (which Kennedy had been commanding since Kershaw's promotion to major general) be detached to oppose Sherman's march northward. Thus in the last months of the war he fought under Joseph E. Johnston, and was promoted to brigadier general from December 22, 1864.  Paroled at Greensboro in May 1865, he re-entered the legal profession at Camden, and was elected to Congress in December of that year, but was denied his seat because of his refusal to take the "iron-clad oath." He became prominent in the councils of the Democratic party after the re-establishment of white supremacy in South Carolina. He served in the legislature and as lieutenant governor, and was named consul general at Shanghai by President Cleveland in 1885. His death occurred suddenly at Camden from a stroke on April 14, 1896, and he 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.

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