Robert Augustus Toombs as
born on July 2, 1810, in Wilkes County, Georgia. After graduating from Union
College, in Schenectady, New York, he served as a state legislator (1837-43) and
a Whig member of the US House of Representatives (1844-52). Toombs also served
in the US Senate, but as a Democrat and Constitutional Unionist (1852-61).
Counting Alexander S. Stephens and Howell Cobb among his political allies, he
supported the Compromise of 1850. Toombs became a rich land owner and slave
owner, and was known to his constituents as "Bob" Toombs. When Lincoln
was elected President, Toombs chose to join the Confederacy, and resigned his
seat in the Senate in 1861. He was nominated for the office of President of the
Confederacy, and was seriously disappointed when he lost to Jefferson Davis.
Accepting an appointment as Confederate Secretary of State, he served until July
1861, then was appointed a brigadier general (July 19, 1861). Toombs fought in
the Seven Days' Campaign through the Battle of Sharpsburg, in which he was
wounded. During his executive and military service, he maintained his seat in
the Confederate Congress, and continually criticized the military policies of
the Confederacy. When he had not been promoted by 1863, he resigned his
commission and spent the rest of the war protesting the Confederate government's
policies. He joined the state militia briefly, to fight against Maj. Gen.
William T. Sherman in Georgia. When the Confederacy was defeated, Toombs left
the country, returning in 1867. Upon his return, he again became a major
influence in Georgia politics, but never held elected office again, since he
refused to apply for a pardon. Toombs died in Washington, Georgia, on December