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Alexander Robert Lawton (November 4, 1818 – July 2, 1896) was a lawyer, politician, diplomat, and brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Alexander Robert Lawton
Alexander Robert Lawton.jpg
Born(1818-11-04)November 4, 1818
Beaufort County, South Carolina
DiedJuly 2, 1896(1896-07-02) (aged 77)
Clifton Springs, New York
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Confederate States of America Confederate States of America
Service/branch United States Army
 Confederate States Army
Years of service1839–1841 (USA)
1861–1865 (CSA)
RankUnion army 2nd lt rank insignia.jpg Second Lieutenant (USA)
Confederate States of America General-collar.svg Brigadier General (CSA)
Commands heldQuartermaster-General of the CSA
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War


Early lifeEdit

Lawton was born in the Beaufort District of South Carolina. He was the son of Alexander James Lawton and Martha Mosse. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1839, placing 13th out of 31 in his class. He served as a second lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery until resigning his commission in 1840 to study law. He attended the Harvard Law School, graduating in 1842. He settled in Savannah, Georgia, and entered the fields of law, railroad administration and state politics.[1]

Civil WarEdit

Lawton favored Georgia's secession and became colonel of the 1st Georgia Volunteers. He commanded the Savannah troops that seized Fort Pulaski, the first conflict of the war in Georgia. He was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate Army on April 13, 1861, and commanded the forces guarding Georgia's seacoast before being reassigned to Virginia. He led his brigade effectively during Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign, the Seven Days Battles, and the Second Battle of Bull Run (Second Manassas). His last field service was at the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), where he commanded the division of the wounded Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell. Lawton was seriously wounded early in the morning of September 17, 1862, while defending his portion of the Army of Northern Virginia's line. Initially carried from the field to a temporary hospital, he spent months at home recuperating.

In August 1863, Lawton became the Confederacy's second Quartermaster-General. Although he brought energy and resourcefulness to the position, he was unable to solve the problem of material shortages and poorly regulated railroads.

Postbellum careerEdit

In the years after the Civil War, Lawton became increasingly important as a political figure in Georgia, serving in various administrative posts. He lost the 1880 election for the U.S. Senate in an election which seemed to represent a victory of the "New South" over the "Old South." He was chosen President of the American Bar Association in 1882. Five years later, he was appointed Minister to Austria-Hungary and left that post in 1889.[2] Lawton died in Clifton Springs, New York.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "OBITUARY RECORD. Gen. A. R. Lawton". The New York Times. 1896-07-03. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  2. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassadors To Austria". U.S. Embassy Vienna. 2009. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-01.


  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8047-3641-1.
  • Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 978-0-8160-1055-4.
  • Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 978-0-8071-0823-9.
  • Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Anthony M. Keiley
U.S. Minister to Austria-Hungary
Succeeded by
Frederick D. Grant