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This Day in Georgia History

May 23, 1898

Henry Rootes Jackson Died

Lawyer, politician, and former Confederate general Henry Rootes Jackson died in Savannah. Born June 24, 1820 in Athens, Georgia, Jackson attended the University of Georgia for a while but graduated from Yale University in 1839. After reading law for two years, he was admitted to the bar. In 1844, Jackson was appointed U.S. district attorney, later serving on the Georgia Supreme Court (1849-1853). At this point, Jackson entered the diplomatic service, serving as U.s. minister to Austria (1853-1859. In 1860, he declined the offer to serve as chancellor of the University of Georgia. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Jackson was appointed as a judge of Confederate courts in Georgia. However, he resigned to accept the rank of brigadier general. Jackson was involved in the defense of Savannah and Georgia’s coast. Later, he was assigned to the Confederate force opposing Sherman during his Atlanta Campaign. After the fall of Atlanta, Jackson accompanied Hood to Tennessee, where he and his division were captured at Nashville. After the war, Jackson was president of the Georgia Historical Society (1875-1898), first president of the Telfair Academy, U.S. minister to Mexico (1885-1887), director of the Central Railroad and Banking Co. (1893-98).