War Between the States

Also served as Confederate Congressman & Governor of South Carolina

War Date Autographed Note Signed


(1813-90) A lawyer by profession, he graduated from South Carolina College, (now the state university), and fought in both the Seminole uprising of 1836 and the Mexican War. His political career began with election to the South Carolina state house of representatives in 1840. The secession of his state from the Union 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. Immediately resigning upon the secession of South Carolina in December 1860, Bonham was appointed major general and commander of the South Carolina army, and on April 23, 1861, was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate Army. Bonham resigned his 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 once again donned a military uniform, and was reappointed a Confederate brigadier general and joined General Joseph E. Johnston's army during the 1865 Carolina's campaign.

War Date Autographed Note Signed: 8 x 3 3/4, imprinted heading, written and signed by Bonham in ink. State of South Carolina, Executive Department, Columbia, June 5, 1864. C.M. Furman, Esqr., Charleston, S.C., Have written you. I approve suggestions. M.L. Bonham. Excellent condition.

Footnote: On June 2, 1864, C.M. Furman, the recipient of this note, wrote Bonham a letter concerning the blockade runners, Alice and Fannie, informing the governor that approval had been given for one third of their cargo to carry "South Carolina" cotton rather than solely "Confederate cotton." Furman also made mention that he "may be able to get the Chicora or one of the other companies to enter into the arrangement in place of the Fannie." This note is Bonham's reply to Furman's letter regarding blockade running. Rare.

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