Began practice law, Kentucky, 1846. Raised company of 3d Kentucky Regiment of Infantry in Mexican War, 1846. Member Kentucky House of Representatives (Democrat), 1849.
Editor Kentucky State Flag, 1857. Member United States House of Representatives from Kentucky, 36th Congress, 1859-1861, defeated for re-election, 1860. Joined Confederate forces of Humphrey Marshall, 1861.
Colonel Kentucky Cavalry, served in eastern Kentucky and western Virginia. Resigned from army to serve as member Confederate Senate, 1862.