David's Top 9 Matches
About David Wyatt Aiken
David Wyatt Aiken (March 17, 1828 – April 6, 1887) was a Confederate army officer during the American Civil War and a postbellum five-term United States Congressman from South Carolina.
Aiken was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina, and received his early education under private tutors. He attended the Mount Zion Institute in Winnsboro and graduated from South Carolina College in Columbia in 1849. He taught college for two years before marrying Mattie Gaillard in 1852 and engaging in agricultural pursuits, owning a plantation and travelling extensively in Europe and throughout the United States. He became the editor of the Winnsboro News and Herald, and was married a second time to Virginia Smith of Abbeville, where Aiken settled and continued to farm.
With South Carolina's secession and the advent of the Civil War, Aiken enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private in the 7th South Carolina Infantry. He was later appointed adjutant of the regiment and in 1862 was elected its colonel. He led it in the Peninsula and Northern Virginia Campaigns. He was severely wounded by a shot through his lungs at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. After his lengthy recovery, he commanded his regiment in the Gettysburg Campaign in Joseph B. Kershaw's brigade, seeing action near the Peach Orchard in the Battle of Gettysburg. However, lingering effects of his wound soon forced Aiken to administrative duty in Macon, Georgia for a year, before he resigned from the Confederate army in mid-1864 and returned home.
He was a member of the State house of representatives from 1864–66 and served as secretary and treasurer of the Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina in 1869. Aiken was a member of the executive committee of the National Grange from 1873–85, and served as its chairman in 1875. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis in 1876.
Aiken was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fifth and to the four succeeding Congresses (serving from 1877 until 1887). He was chairman of the Committee on Education in the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses. With his health declining, Aiken became an invalid during his last term in office and was not a candidate for renomination in 1886.
Aiken died in Cokesbury, South Carolina, and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Greenwood, South Carolina.
His son, Wyatt Aiken (1863–1923), also served in Congress and a first cousin, William Aiken, Jr., became a Congressman and Governor of South Carolina.