A Civil War Biography

Alfred Cumming

Cumming was born 30 January 1829 in Augusta, Georgia. After graduating 35th in the West Point class of 1849 he was posted in the infantry to the frontier. He spent time on the staff of David E. Twiggs in the Department of Texas and accompanied Albert S. Johnston on the Utah expedition against the Mormons one of the results of which was to install Cumming's uncle, also named Alfred Cumming, as territorial governor. The two are often confused as being the same person. As the war loomed Cumming was serving as a captain in the 7th US infantry. He resigned from the US army on 19 January 1861, the day Georgia seceded from the Union.

Offering his services to Georgia Cumming's was initially assigned, on 16 March 1861, as a major in the state militia. By the spring of 1861 he was a lieutenant colonel in the Augusta Volunteer battalion. The battalion became part of the 10th Georgia in June 1861. Cumming was named the 10th's colonel on 25 September 1861. The regiment moved to Virginia and took part during the peninsula campaign at the siege of Yorktown and at Malvern Hill where Cumming was wounded. He returned to duty in time to command Cadmus M. Wilcox's Alabama brigade of Richard H. Anderson's division at Crampton's Gap and Sharpsburg. Cumming was again wounded at Sharpsburg. He was promoted to brigadier general on 29 October 1862 and sent to the West. He commanded the 3rd brigade in Carter L. Stevenson's division at Champion's Hill and in the defenses at Vicksburg. Cumming was surrendered with the Confederate stronghold on 4 July 1863 and paroled. He was exchanged in September and commanded his rebuilt brigade at Missionary Ridge and during the Atlanta campaign. He was wounded at Jonesboro on 31 August 1864 ending his active field service.

Following the war Cumming settled in Floyd County, Georgia where he farmed. He later moved to Rome, Georgia. In 1888 he served on the American Military Commission to Korea. He died 5 December 1910 in Rome, Georgia.

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