Brig. Gen. Milledge Luke Bonham (1813-1890) was a South Carolinian by birth and came from a military family. He fought in the Seminole War and as an officer in the Mexican War, then commanded the South Carolina Militia as a major general. He was a U.S. Congressman from 1857 to 1860 and governor of South Carolina from 1862 to 1864. An ardent secessionist, when the Civil War broke out he was appointed a brigadier general in the Confederate Army. On May 21, 1861, Gen. Robert E. Lee gave him command of the “Alexandria Line”, a task he executed poorly. On May 24th, Union forces invaded northern Virginia and captured Arlington Heights and Alexandria without a fight. Bonham later commanded a brigade at the Battle of First Manassas and then returned to politics in his home state of South Carolina.
Illustration of Milledge Luke Bonham
Published by Michael Kleen
Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy. View all posts by Michael Kleen