United States Congressman, Confederate Cabinet Member. He is remembered for serving as a United States House of Representative as a Democrat from the State of Virginia serving form 1845 to 1847 and again from 1849 to 1851. Born into an aristocracy antebellum family with a deep-rooted Virginia heritage, his father was Thomas Seddon and his mother Susan Alexander. He was well-educated by private tutors, graduated from the University of Virginia in 1835, after studying law admitted to the bar about 1838, and practiced law in Richmond, Virginia. After being a Congressman, he was a member of the Peace Convention held in Washington, D.C. in 1861. He was a well-spoken debater and supported a peaceful secession of Virginia from the Union. He believed that slavery was supported by Holy Scripture. When all efforts failed, he was elected as the Virginia delegate to the Provisional Confederate Congress. He was appointed to be the fourth Secretary of War by Confederate President Jefferson Davis serving from 1862 to 1865. He was unpopular with the Confederate Congress as he supported an offensive military effort in the West and the conscription act or the compulsory military draft. Even as a young man, he had health issues, which later caused him to resign his post in the Confederate Cabinet in February of 1865. He was replaced with the 5th Secretary of War, John Cabell Breckinridge, who served until the end of the war in April 1865. Of the five in the position of Secretary of War, Seddon served the longest term . After the Confederacy lost the war, he was arrested by Union forces in May 1865, served seven months in prison and did not resume any public service.
Bio by: Linda Davis
Sarah Bruce Seddon