John Blair Smith Todd

John Blair Smith Todd, reportedly connected by marriage to both Abraham Lincoln and John Cabell Breckinridge, was born April 4, 1814, in Lexington, Kentucky. When he was thirteen years old, his parents took him to Illinois and he was appointed to the Military Academy in 1832 from this state. He was graduated five years later, ranking toward the bottom of a class which numbered Jubal Early, John Sedgwick, John C. Pemberton, and Joseph Hooker among its members. Todd served in Florida against the Seminoles on two occasions, performed frontier duty in the Indian Territory and in Arkansas, took part in the Mexican War, and thereafter was stationed in garrison and at various frontier posts with the rank of captain, 6th Infantry. He was serving at Fort Pierre, (South) Dakota, when he resigned in 1856 to become sutler at Fort Randall. Meantime he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1861, and began his practice at Yankton. On September 19, 1861, he was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers and commanded the North Missouri District for a time and from June 3, 1862, until July 17, 1862, when his appointment expired, the 6th Division of the Army of the Tennessee.  The previous December, when the Territory of Dakota was formed with Yankton as the capital, Todd became a delegate to Congress.   He served until March, 1863, and then successfully contested the election of his opponent, sewing again from. June, 1864;, until March 3, 1865, but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection another time. In 1866 and 1867 he was speaker of the territorial house of representatives and the following year again sought unsuccessfully to be returned to Congress. It is claimed by some sources that he was territorial governor in 1869-however, this is not verifiable. He retired from public life following his defeat for reelection in 1868 and died in Yankton County, (South) Dakota, on January 5, 1872. He was buried in Yankton City Cemetery.

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Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.