General Thomas Reede Roots Cobb
Kinsman Richard Lacey
Thomas Reede Roots Cobb was born in Jefferson County, Georgia, on April 10, 1823 to John A. Cobb and Sarah Rootes Cobb. He was the younger brother of Howell Cobb. He married Marion Lumpkin, who was the daughter of the Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Joseph Henry Lumpkin. Three of their children lived past childhood: Callender (Callie), who married Augustus Longstreet Hull; Sarah A. (Sally), who married Henry Jackson, the son of Henry Rootes Jackson; and Marion (Birdie), who married Michael Hoke Smith. The Lucy Cobb Institute, which he founded, was named for a daughter who died shortly before the school opened. His niece Mildred Lewis Rutherford served the school for over forty years in various capacities.
Cobb graduated in 1841 from Franklin College (of the University of Georgia), where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Literary Society, and was admitted to the bar in 1842. From 1849 to 1857, he was a reporter of the Supreme Court of Georgia. He was an ardent secessionist, and was a delegate to the Secession Convention. He is best known for his treatise on the law of slavery titled An Inquiry into the Law of Negro Slavery in the United States of America (1858) and as one of the founders of the University of Georgia School of Law.
During the Civil War Cobb served in the Confederate Congress, where for a time he was chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs. He was also on the committee that was responsible for the drafting of the Confederate constitution.
He organized Cobb's Legion in the late summer of 1861 and was commissioned a colonel in the Confederate army on August 28, 1861. The Legion was assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. It took heavy losses during the Maryland Campaign. He was promoted to brigadier general on November 1, 1862, but this promotion was not confirmed by the Confederate Congress. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, he was mortally wounded in the thigh by a Union artillery shell that burst inside the Stephens house near the Sunken Road on Marye's Heights. He bled to death from damage to the femoral artery on December 13, 1862. Some later accounts by veterans claim that the wounding was by rifle fire and that a Confederate soldier may have been responsible. He is buried at Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens, Georgia.
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