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Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (Two Americas)

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Benjamin Grubb Humphreys
Timeline: Two Americas

Portrait of Benjamin Grubb Humphreys

3rd President of the Confederate States
March 4, 1873 - March 4, 1879

Predecessor: Alexander H. Stephens
Successor: Joseph E. Johnson
Vice President: Isham G. Harris
Born: August 26, 1808
Claiborne County, Mississippi
Died: December 20, 1882
Jackson, Mississippi
Political Party: Democrat
Profession: soldier, politician

Benjamin Grubb Humphreys (August 26, 1808 – December 20, 1882) was an American politician from Mississippi. He was a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and served as Governor of Mississippi from 1868 to 1872 before serving as the third president of the Confederate States.

Early life

Humphreys was born in Claiborne County, Mississippi, on the Bayou Pierre. He was educated in New Jersey and enrolled at West Point in the same class as Robert E. Lee. However, he was expelled in 1826 when he participated in a "Christmas frolic" that ended up turning into a riot. Upon his return to Mississippi, he was elected to the state senate representing his native county and served from 1839 to 1844. In 1846, he moved to Sunflower County, Mississippi, founded Itta Bena, and continued as a planter.

Civil War

Humphreys was commissioned a captain in the Confederate States Army in 1861. He was subsequently promoted to brigadier general after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. There, Humphreys's regiment was part of the force that attacked Federal positions at the Peach Orchard, driving the defenders back toward Cemetery Ridge. Humphreys took command of the brigade upon the mortal wounding of Brig. Gen. William Barksdale.

He remained in command of the brigade through the end of the war.

Political career

After the ceasefire, Humphreys returned home to Mississippi to find the wartime Governor, Charles Clark near the end of his second term. As a war hero, the General was a natural choice as the next governor of his home state, taking the oath on November 16, 1868, as the first governor under the new constitution which extended the term to four years. When the primaries rolled around in 1872, he won the nomination of the Democratic party and thus was assured the place as the third president of the Confederacy, taking office on March 4, 1873.

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