Milledge Luke Bonham

Ref Headstones: Find-a-Grave

Milledge Luke Bonham was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina, December 25, 1813, and was graduated from South Carolina College (now the state university) in 1834. A lawyer by profession, he fought in both the Seminole uprising of 1836 and the Mexican War. His political career began with election to the state house of representatives in 1840. The secession of his state found him a member of the Federal Congress to which he had been elected in 1857 to fill the unexpired term of his cousin, Preston Brooks, who had resigned following his notorious physical assault on Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. Immediately resigning upon the secession of South Carolina, Bonham was appointed major general and commander of the South Carolina army, and on April 23, 1861 a brigadier general in Confederate service. Bonham resigned this commission in January 1862 to take his seat in the First Regular Confederate Congress, a post which he also resigned upon his election as governor of South Carolina in January 1863. At the expiration of his term he was reappointed a brigadier, February 16, 1865, and was present during the closing weeks of General Joseph E. Johnston's campaign in the Carolinas. After the war he again took up his law practice, engaged in planting, was a member of the pre-Reconstruction legislature delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 1868, and served as state railroad commissioner from 1878 until his death at White Sulphur Springs, North Carolina, August 27, 1890. He is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Columbia, South Carolina.

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