Civil War Wiki

Thomas R. R. Cobb

Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb (April 10, 1823 – December 13, 1862) was an American lawyer, author, politician, and Confederate officer, killed in the Battle of Fredericksburg during the American Civil War.

Early life[]

Cobb was born in Jefferson County, Georgia, to John A. Cobb and Sarah Rootes Cobb. He was the younger brother of Howell Cobb. He married Marion Lumpkin, who was the daughter of the Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Joseph Henry Lumpkin. Three of their children lived past childhood: Callender (Callie), who married Augustus Longstreet Hull; Sarah A. (Sally), who married Henry Jackson, the son of Henry Rootes Jackson; and Marion (Birdie), who married Michael Hoke Smith.

Cobb graduated in 1841 from Franklin College[1] (now the University of Georgia), where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society, and was admitted to the bar in 1842. From 1849 to 1857, he was a reporter of the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was an ardent secessionist, and was a delegate to the Secession Convention. He is best known for his treatise on the law of slavery titled An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States of America (1858) and as one of the founders of the University of Georgia School of Law.

Civil War[]

During the Civil War Cobb served in the Confederate Congress, where for a time he was chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. He was also on the committee that was responsible for the drafting of the Confederate constitution.

He organized Cobb's Legion in the late summer of 1861 and was commissioned a colonel in the Confederate army on August 28, 1861. The Legion was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. It took heavy losses during the Maryland Campaign. He was promoted to brigadier general on November 1, 1862, but this promotion was not confirmed by the Confederate Congress.[1] At the Battle of Fredericksburg, he was mortally wounded in the thigh by a Union artillery shell that burst inside the Stephens house near the Sunken Road on Marye's Heights. He bled to death from damage to the femoral artery on December 13, 1862.[2] Some later accounts by veterans claim that the wounding was by rifle fire and that a Confederate soldier may have been responsible.[3] He is buried at Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens, Georgia.

The T.R.R. Cobb House[]

The T.R.R. Cobb House, where Thomas Cobb and his wife Marion lived in Athens, Ga, is now a house museum. It was moved from Stone Mountain, Georgia, where it had resided for a number of years. Stone Mountain Park had hoped to restore the house, but the project fell through. The house is now an operational museum which had been partially restored to the way it looked when Thomas Cobb and Marion Cobb lived there. The house is owned by the Watson-Brown Foundation.

Published works[]

  • Digest of the Statute Laws of Georgia (1851)[1]
  • Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States (1858)[2]
  • Historical Sketch of Slavery, from the Earliest Periods (1859)[3]
  • The Code of the State of Georgia (1861) AKA The Code of 1863 because though published in 1861, the Georgia General Assembly did not pass it till 1863.[4]
  • The Code of the State of Georgia (1873)
  • The Colonel (1897)



  1. 1.0 1.1 Eicher, p. 592.
  2. O'Reilly, p. 296; Eicher, p. 592.
  3. Controversies about the death of T. R. R. Cobb

External links[]

de:Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb fi:Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb