Happy birthday to Brigadier General
THOMAS FENWICK DRAYTON, August 24, 1808
Thomas Fenwick Drayton was born on August 24, 1808, in Charleston, South Carolina. He graduated from West Point in 1828, where he formed a lifelong friendship with Jefferson Finis Davis. In 1836, Drayton resigned from the army, running his plantation and working as a railroad director and state legislator. When the Civil War began, he was commissioned a brigadier general (September 25, 1861). Placed in command of the military district at Port Royal, South Carolina, he was unable to defend the post against a Union naval attack. Drayton’s brother, Comdr. Percival Drayton, was commander of the leading Union warship, the “Pocahontas,” in the attack. Thomas Drayton led his brigade at the Battles of Bull Run (Second), South Mountain and Antietam. At South Mountain and Antietam, he showed himself to be a poor field commander. General Lee assigned Drayton to other brigades, although the decision was difficult and embarrassing for him. Drayton spent the last two years of the war in the Trans-Mississippi Department, leading a brigade in the District of Arkansas and later commanding the Subdistrict of Texas. He went on to serve as president of the court of inquiry which investigated Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s raid into Missouri. After the end of the Civil War, Drayton became a farmer in Georgia. He then moved to North Carolina, where he worked as a life insurance agent. Drayton died in Florence, South Carolina, on February 18, 1891.