Civil War Wiki

Henry Alonzo Edmundson (June 14, 1814 – December 16, 1890) was a nineteenth century congressman and lawyer from Virginia.

Early life[]

Born in Blacksburg, Virginia, Edmundson attended private schools as a child and went on to graduate from Georgetown University. He later studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1838, commencing practice in Salem, Virginia.


In 1848, he was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives and served until 1861. He was chairman of the Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings from 1853 to 1855.

On May 12, 1854, during a House session on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Edmundson was arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms. This occurred after Ohio representative Lewis D. Campbell was animating an increasingly bitter and violent House nearly thirty-six hours into the session. Edmundson reportedly attempted to attack Campbell, but was restrained by other members and arrested. The House adjourned after the incident.[1][2]

He accompanied Preston Brooks when he brutally attacked Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate on May 22, 1856. A resolution to censure Edmundson was introduced for his involvement in the incident along with Brooks and Laurence M. Keitt, another accomplice, however, unlike for Brooks and Keitt, it was voted down.[3]

Military service[]

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Edmundson resigned from Congress and joined the newly formed Confederate States Army. He was elected a lieutenant colonel in the 54th Virginia Infantry[4] where he served as until 1862 when he was assigned to the command of the 25th Virginia Cavalry.[5]

Later life[]

At the close of the war, Edmundson returned to practicing law and subsequently in 1880 turned to agricultural pursuits.

He died at his home called "Falling Waters" in Shawsville, Virginia, on December 16, 1890, and is interred at Fotheringay Cemetery in Shawsville.


  1. Morrison, Michael A. Slavery and the American West.
  2. Ford, James. History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850: 1850-1854. [1]
  3. US House of Representatives. Historical Summary of Conduct Cases in the House of Representatives. [2]
  4. Jeffrey C. Weaver, 54th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg: H. E. Howard, 1993), 185-186.
  5. Dobbie E. Lambert, 25th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg: H. E. Howard, 1994), 111.

External links[]

Template:Start box Template:USRepSuccessionBox |}