March 9, 1832: Politician George Latham Born in Prince William County

Mar 9, 2018

George R. Latham, Colonel, 5th W. Va. Cav., portrait in Union uniform
Credit e-WV Encyclopedia / Library of Congress

George Latham was born on March 9, 1832, in Prince William County, Virginia, on what would later become the Bull Run Battlefield.

He moved to Taylor County in 1849 and taught in local schools while studying to become a lawyer. He opened his legal practice in Grafton in 1860.

When the Civil War began the next year, Latham transformed his law office into a military recruiting station for Northern troops. He formed Company B of the 2nd Virginia Infantry and detained them in Grafton long enough to vote against Virginia’s secession from the Union.

In July 1861, Latham’s company took part in the Battle of Corrick’s Ford near Parsons in Tucker County. Over the course of the war, he participated in some of the conflict’s fiercest battles. At the Second Battle of Bull Run in 1862, he had three horses shot out from under him.

After the war, Latham served in Congress and as U.S. consul to Australia. He settled in Buckhannon and was elected superintendent of Upshur County schools. George Latham died in Buckhannon in 1917 at age 85. He was the father of artist Annie Latham Bartlett.