BONHAM, Milledge Luke, (1813 - 1890)


”The Last Delegation from South Carolina in the Congress of the United States” (detail), hand-colored engraving, 1861, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives

BONHAM, Milledge Luke, a Representative from South Carolina; born near Red Bank (now Saluda), Edgefield District, S.C., December 25, 1813; attended private schools in Edgefield District and at Abbeville, S.C.; was graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) at Columbia in 1834; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Edgefield in 1837; served as major and adjutant general of the South Carolina Brigade in the Seminole War in Florida in 1836; during the Mexican War was lieutenant colonel and colonel of the Twelfth Regiment, United States Infantry; major general of the South Carolina Militia; member of the State house of representatives 1840-1843; solicitor of the southern circuit of South Carolina 1848-1857; elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses and served from March 4, 1857, until his retirement on December 21, 1860; appointed major general and commander of the Army of South Carolina by Gov. F. W. Pickens in February 1861; appointed brigadier general in the Confederate Army April 19, 1861; resigned his commission January 27, 1862, to enter the Confederate Congress; elected Governor of South Carolina in December 1862 and served until December 1864; appointed brigadier general of Cavalry in the Confederate Army in February 1865; again a member of the State house of representatives 1865-1866; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1868; member of the South Carolina taxpayers’ convention in 1871 and 1874; resumed the practice of law in Edgefield, engaged in planting, and also conducted an insurance business in Edgefield, S.C., and Atlanta, Ga., 1865-1878; appointed State railroad commissioner in 1878 and served until his death at White Sulphur Springs, N.C., August 27, 1890; interment in Elmwood Cemetery, Columbia, S.C.