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Bill Thayer

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 [decorative delimiter] Class of 1839

[image ALT: A head-and-shoulders photograph of a man of about 65, wearing a coat with wide velvet-trimmed lapels and a patterned cravat. He is almost completely bald but has a full mustache and beard, closely cropped, and has a genial and dapper air about him. He is the American army officer Alexander R. Lawton.]

Vol. I

(Born S. C.)

Alexander R. Lawton

(Ap'd S. C.)


Military History. — Cadet at the Military Academy, July 1, 1835, to July 1, 1839, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to

Second Lieut., 1st Artillery, July 1, 1839.

Served: on the Northern Frontier, at Rouse's Point, N. Y., 1839‑40, during Canada Border Disturbances; on Maine Frontier, at Houlton, pending the "Disputed Territory" controversy; and in garrison at Ft. Sullivan, Me., 1840.

Resigned, Dec. 31, 1840.

Civil History. — Counselor at Law, Savannah, Ga., 1843‑61. President of Savannah and Augusta Railroad, Ga., 1849‑54. Alderman of the City of Savannah, Ga., 1854. Lieutenant, Georgia Militia, 1849‑52, — and Colonel, 1852‑61. Member of the House of Representatives of the State of Georgia, 1855‑56, — and of its Senate, 1859‑60. President of the Georgia Democratic Convention, 1860.

Joined in the Rebellion of 1861‑66 against the United States.​a

Civil History. — Counselor at Law, Savannah, Ga., since 1866. Member of the Senate of the State of Georgia, 1874‑75; and of the Democratic National Convention for nomination of President, 18––– and 1884. Vice-President of the Georgia Constitutional Convention, 1877. President of Augusta and Savannah Railroad Company, 1878‑87; and of the American Bar Association, 1883. Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States to Austria-Hungary, July 1, 1887, to May 15, 1889. Residence, Savannah, Ga.

Vol. IV
Died July 2, 1896, at Clifton Springs, N. Y.: Aged 78.

See Annual Association of Graduates U. S. M. A., 1897, for an obituary notice.

Buried, Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA.

Thayer's Note:

a As with other Confederate officers, Cullum's Register omits his war record. As Quartermaster General he was a key player in the war (frequently mentioned for example in Freeman's R. E. Lee), and by all accounts a man of great energy confronting insurmountable difficulties: see General Robert E. Lee's Horse Supply (AHR 35:758‑777), pp765 ff. and The Confederate Government and the Railroads (AHR 22:794‑810), pp800 ff.

A brief biographical sketch at HistoryCentral.Com makes up some of the deficiencies in Cullum's.

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Page updated: 16 Apr 15