Winfield Scott Featherston

Mississippi, The Heart of the South, Vol. II, Chapter XLIV, pages 692-693, by Dunbar Rowland, LL.D., Director of the MS State Dept. of Archives and History. Chicago-Jackson: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925.


Alexander K. McClung was nominated by the Whigs as congressman from the second district, and Winfield Scott Featherston, a young lawyer from Houston, was put forward by the Democrats. Colonel McClung, one of the heroes of Monterey and, like Jefferson Davis, a native of Kentucky and educated in her schools, was also a brilliant newspaper man of more mature years than his fellow officer of the Mississippi Rifles. Reuben Davis says of Featherston and McClung in his Recollections:

"They were both able stump speakers, fluent and well informed upon the political history of the country, and each could point to a brilliant service on the battlefield. Colonel McClung had been side by side with Col. Jefferson Davis in the splendid charge of the First Mississippi regiment at Monterey and had been severely wounded upon the walls of the fort. This wound had confined him to his room for six months and he pointed to the crutches upon which he leaned as being in themselves sufficient tokens of his claims upon the popular vote, he feeling himself in no wise inferior to Featherston in honesty or intellect. It was manifest that a strong sympathy was everywhere felt for the crippled hero, but this was overcome by the paramount consideration of individual loyalty to party and Featherston was elected. Very possibly it is from this defeat, which he took much to heart, that we may date the first symptoms of that deep melancholy which afterward clouded the noble spirit of McClung, and which culminated in the awful tragedy of his self-inflicted death." Featherstonís star was just rising. He made a fine congressman, was re-elected and a decade afterward entered his career as one of the foremost commanders of the Confederate army.

Before the conclusion of Governor Brownís term as Governor, in the McClung-Featherston campaign, the chief executive was elected as the representative in congress from the fourth district. Jacob Thompson, chosen to represent the first district, was also a Democrat. The only Whig representative elected was Patrick W. Tompkins, of Vicksburg, from the third district.

General Winfield Scott Featherston's Military Career

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