John Smith Preston, American army officer. member South Carolina. Senate, 1848-1856.
Preston, John Smith was born on April 20, 1809 in Abingdon, Virginia, United States. Son of Francis Smith and Sarah Buchanan (Campbell) Preston.
Attended Hampden-Sydney College, 1823-1825, University of Virginia, 1825-1827. Studied law at Harvard.
Admitted to Virginia bar, circa 1827. Owned large sugar plantation “The Homus” in Louisiana, circa 1840-1850. Member South Carolina.
Senate, 1848-1856; chairman South Carolina. delegation Democratic National Convention, Charleston, South Carolina., 1860. Commissioner to visit Virginia and urge secession, 1861. Commissioned assistant adjutant with rank lieutenant colonel, 1861.
Participated in 1st battle of Bull Run, 1861. Command prison camp at Columbia, Georgia, 1862. Superintendent bureau of Conscription, Confederate Government, 1863-1865.
Commissioned colonel Confederate Army, 1863, given control of conscription in West, 1863, promoted brigadier general, 1864. Spent rest of life defending Confederacy and principles of state’s rights.