Civil War Wiki
George Wythe Randolph
George W. Randolph

In office
March 24, 1862 – November 15, 1862
President Jefferson Davis
Preceded by Judah P. Benjamin
Succeeded by James Seddon

Born March 10, 1818(1818-03-10)
Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.
Died April 3, 1867 (aged 49)
Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Mary Elizabeth Adams
Profession Politician, Lawyer
Religion Episcopalian

George Wythe Randolph (March 10, 1818 – April 3, 1867) was a lawyer and the Confederate States Secretary of War during the American Civil War. He was also Thomas Jefferson's grandson.


Randolph was born at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Thomas Mann Randolph Jr., a descendant of Pocahontas, and Martha Jefferson Randolph, the daughter of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. Named in honor of George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, he was a relative of Edmund Randolph, who served in George Washington's cabinet as the first Attorney General of the United States, as well as colonist William Randolph through both his mother and father's sides of the family.

Randolph briefly attended school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and served as a midshipman in the United States Navy. He attended the University of Virginia before moving to Richmond and becoming a lawyer. On April 10, 1852, he married Mary Elizabeth Adams (1830–1871).

As the Confederacy was established and the United States divided into two hostile camps, both sides moved steadily toward open conflict. A special delegation, composed of Randolph, William B. Preston and Alexander H.H. Stuart, travelled to Washington, D.C. where they met President Abraham Lincoln on April 12, 1861. Finding the President firm in his resolve to hold the Federal forts then in the South, the three men returned to Richmond, Virginia on April 15. He joined the Confederate army, serving as a major in the Battle of Big Bethel, and was promoted to brigadier general on February 12, 1862. Randolph was appointed by Jefferson Davis as Secretary of War on March 18, 1862, and he took office on March 24, 1862, but resigned on November 17, 1862.

Randolph chose exile in Europe after the Confederacy fell. He later returned to Virginia where he died two years later in 1867 from pneumonia. He is buried in the Jefferson family graveyard at Monticello.

He is pictured on the $100 bill of the Confederate States of America.

External links[]

Template:Start box Template:S-off |- style="text-align: center;" |- style="text-align:center;" |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"|Preceded by
Judah P. Benjamin |width="40%" style="text-align: center;" rowspan="1"|Confederate States Secretary of War
March 24, 1862 – November 15, 1862 |width="30%" align="center" rowspan="1"| Succeeded by
James Seddon |- |}

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