Colonel James Fowler Pressley, CSA    Colonel James Fowler Pressley, M. D.--A Hero Remembered 10th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Battle Flag   
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Home > Brigadier General Promotion Recommendation

Recommendation for Promotion to Brigadier General, CSA

In December, 1864, eight top leaders of the Confederate States of America recommended promotion for 29 year old Col. James F. Pressley to Brigadier General. Two of these men were destined to become state governors, one of whom had already held the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States. (Brief biographies of each signer follow.)

This handwritten and personally-signed recommendation was received by the Confederate States of America War Department on the December 31, 1864, whence it was forwarded to the Secretary of War. It is unknown whether the promotion had been granted by the end of the war, a few months later. Even in the best of times, it could take several months for a promotion to be granted and communicated in the Confederacy, and these last frantic days of the war were far from the best of times.

What follows is a verbatim transcription of the original hand-written document from Col. Pressley's Official Records, a copy of which is in my possession.

"So Ca Vols" and " SCV " both stand for "South Carolina Volunteer Infantry.

Text of the Recommendation:


To Hon James Seddon, Secretary of War

We respectfully recommend Col James F Pressley, Col commanding the 10th Regt So Ca Vols, Army of Tennessee, for promotion as Brigadier General.

Col Pressley is a graduate of the Citadel Academy of So CA, has received a regular military education, entered the war as a Captain, was promoted a Field Officer & promoted Colonel of the 10th Regt SCV 16 April 1863, fought gallantly through all the battles of the Western Campaign under Generals Bragg, Johnston & Hood up to 22 July 1864, when he was severely wounded in the left arm & shoulder broken at Atlanta. He is also a member of the Legislature of South Carolina.

          

Dec 16, 1864

James H Witherspoon
James Farrow
Lewis Malone Ayer
William Waters Boyce

William Porcher Miles
William Dunlap Simpson
James Lawrence Orr
Robert Woodwell Barnwell


Biographies of Signers, in alphabetical order:

  • Ayer, Lewis Malone (1821-1895)
    • Member SC state legislature, 1848-1856
    • Delegate to SC secession convention, 1860
    • Rep from SC in the Confederate Congress, 1862-1865



  • Barnwell, Robert Woodward (1801-1882)
    • Member SC house of representatives, 1826
    • U. S. Rep from SC 2nd District, 1829-1833
    • U. S. Senator from South Carolina, 1850
    • Delegate to SC secession convention, 1860
    • Delegate from SC to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-1862
    • Senator from SC in Confederate Congress, 1862-1865
    • Senator from SC in Confederate Congress, 1862-1865

  • Boyce, William Waters (1818-1890)
    • Member SC house of representatives, 1846-1847
    • U. S. Rep from SC 6th District, 1853-1860
    • Delegate from SC to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-1862
    • Rep from SC in Confederate Congress, 1862-1865

  • Farrow, James (1827-1892)
    • Member South Carolina state legislature, 1856-1865
    • State Court judge



  • Miles, William Porcher (1822-1899)
    • Mayor of Charleston, SC, 1855
    • U. S. Rep from SC 2nd District, 1857-1860
    • Delegate from SC to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-1862
    • Designer of the Confederate Battle Flag, 1861
    • Rep from SC in Confederate Congress, 1862-1865

  • Orr, James Lawrence (1822-1873)
    • Member SC house of representatives, 1844-1848
    • U. S. Rep from SC 2nd District, 1849-1853
    • U. S. Rep from SC 5th District, 1853-1859
    • Speaker of the U. S. House, 1857-1859
    • Delegate to SC secession convention, 1860
    • Served in Confederate Army during the war with rank of Major
    • Delegate from SC to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1862
    • Senator from SC in Confederate Congress, 1862-1865
    • Delegate to SC State Constitutional Convention, 1865
    • Governor of South Carolina, 1865-1868
    • State court judge, 1868-1870
    • U. S. Minister to Russia, 1872-73

  • Simpson, William Dunlap (1823-1890)
    • Rep from SC in the Confederate Congress, 1863-1865
    • Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, 1876-1879
    • Governor of South Carolina, 18789-1880
    • Justice of the SC State Supreme Court, 1880

  • Witherspoon, James Hervey (1810-1865)
    • S. C. 4th Infantry Regiment State, Colonel, 1863-1864
    • Rep from SC in the Confederate Congress, 1864-1865
 
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