James Alexander Seddon, 4th CSA Sec. of War

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James Alexander Seddon, 4th CSA Sec. of War

Birthplace: Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States
Death: August 19, 1880 (65)
Sabot Hill, Goochland, Virginia, United States
Place of Burial: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Seddon and Susan Pearson Seddon
Husband of Sarah Seddon
Brother of Sarah Alexander Bruce and Thomas Seddon

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Immediate Family

About James Alexander Seddon, 4th CSA Sec. of War


James Alexander Seddon (July 13, 1815 – August 19, 1880) was an American lawyer and politician who served two terms in the U.S. Congress as a member of the Democrat Party. He was appointed Confederate States Secretary of War by Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War.


Seddon was born in Falmouth, Stafford County, Virginia. He was a descendant of William Alexander, Earl of Stirling. Due to frail health, he was educated primarily at home and became self-taught as a youth. At the age of twenty-one, Seddon entered the law school of the University of Virginia, graduating and settling in Richmond, where he established a successful law practice.

In 1845, he was nominated by the Democrat Party for Congress and was easily elected. Two years later, he was renominated, but declined due to platform differences with the party. In 1849, Seddon was reelected to Congress, serving from December 1849 until March 1851. Owing to poor health, he declined another nomination at the end of his term and retired to "Sabot Hill," his estate on the James River above Richmond.

Seddon attended the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861, which attempted to devise a means of preventing the impending civil war. Later in the same year, he attended the Provisional Confederate Congress. President Davis named him as the Secretary of War, a post he held until January 1, 1865, when he retired from public life to his country estate.

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James Alexander Seddon, 4th CSA Sec. of War's Timeline

July 13, 1815
Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States
August 19, 1880
Age 65
Sabot Hill, Goochland, Virginia, United States
Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia, United States