A Civil War Biography

John Archibald Campbell

Campbell was born 24 June 1811 in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia. He attended West Point but left after three years following his father's death. He studied the law and began a practice.

He was a member of the Alabama house of representatives for two sessions beginning in 1837. He then returned to the practice
of law and gained a national reputation. He was appointed to the US Supreme Court on 22 March 1853 by President Franklin Pierce then confirmed by a voice vote in the Senate three days later. Campbell resigned his position on the Supreme Court on 26 April 1861. He set up a law practice in New Orleans, Louisiana and practiced until Jefferson Davis appointed him assistant secretary of war on 21 October 1862.

Campbell's primary duties involved the draft. He was one of the three peace commissioners that met with Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference in early 1865. When the war ended Campbell was imprisoned for six months at Fort Pulaski. Following his release he returned to his law practice in New Orleans which became substantial. He was one of Samuel J. Tilden's legal advisors in the disputed presidential election of 1876. Campbell died 12 March 1889.

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