Admitted to Georgia bar, 1845. Served as major United States Army during Mexican War, 1846-1848. Member United States House of Representatives from Georgia, 33d Congress, 1853-1855.
Member Georgia Legislature, 1859. Presidential elector-at-large, 1860. Delegate to Georgia Secession Convention, 1861.
Commissioned brigadier general, then major general Confederate Army during Civil War. President Georgia Democratic Convention, 1870. Governor Georgia, 1876-1882.
Member United States Senate from Georgia, 1883-1894.