PORTRAITS OF OUR BELOVED LEADERS
2nd AND 5th Attorney General of the Great CSA
Wade Rutledge Keyes
Well folks, apparently Mr. Keyes didn’t want to be photographed or painted.
I have tried for several days to locate and image of him that I could verify, and have found nothing.
So, no accompanying image of him.
He was born in Mooresville, Alabama, the son of General George and Nellie (Rutledge) Keyes. He was educated by private tutors and attended LaGrange College (now the University of North Alabama) and the University of Virginia before moving to Lexington, Kentucky, in late 1840s to study law. He had a daughter, Mary, by his marriage to a Miss Whitfield.
Keyes was a Methodist and a Democrat. He moved to Tallahassee, Florida, in 1844 where he practiced law and then he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1851. He was the author of two volumes on legal subjects: An Essay on the Learning of Future Interests in Real Property (1853) and An Essay on the Learning of Remainders (1854). In 1853, Keyes was given the chancellorship for the Southern Division of Alabama.
Keyes was a secessionist. When the Civil War began, he volunteered for duty in the Confederate Army but assigned to staff duty in Richmond. During the Civil War he served in the Confederate States Department of Justice, as Assistant Attorney General, Acting Attorney General, and Attorney General Ad Interim at various junctures. When Judah P. Benjamin was appointed Secretary of War on September 21, 1861 and concurrently maintained the Attorney General office, Keyes performed as Assistant Attorney General for two months until Thomas Bragg was confirmed as Attorney General in late November 1861. Keyes’ opinions usually reflected a lucid train of thought reflective of his linear thinking ability. His opinion as Attorney General ad int. in December 1863, to James A. Seddon, Secretary of War, expounding the theoretical basis of the theory behind the relationship between the Confederate government and the State governments is one of the strongest of all the opinions issued by the Attorneys General during the existence of the Confederacy. After the war, he had a law practice in Florence, Alabama. Little else is known about his postwar career. He died in Florence.