On Wednesday, August 26, 1863 at Abingdon, Virginia the controversial, former United States Secretary of War and Confederate general John B. Floyd died. Born in 1783, Floyd graduated from South Carolina College and eventually entered the legal profession and politics.
Elected Virginia governor in 1849, Floyd joined the James Buchanan administration in 1857 as Secretary of War. He left the administration after Lincoln’s election, surrounded by rumors that he had transferred large stores of government arms into the South in the anticipation of the Civil War.
Joining the Confederacy, Floyd was appointed a general and eventually commanded Fort Donelson from which he fled shortly before its 1862 surrender, fearing that he would be tried for treason if captured. Removed from command, Floyd’s declining health prevented further service to the Confederacy.