In 1844 he removed to Coahoma county, Miss.
, and engaged in planting.
He was a prominent and trusted leader in the Whig party.
In the Mississippi convention of 1861 he served as a Union delegate and earnestly opposed secession.
He yielded, however, to the decision of his State, and was appointed by the convention one of the brigadier-generals
of State troops.
He marched with his troops into central Kentucky
in the fall of 1861, and served under Gen. S. B. Buckner
Not receiving any commission from the Confederate government, he spent much of his time acting as a recruiting agent, and was quite successful in getting Kentuckians to enlist for the war. He succeeded in getting his own command, a brigade of Mississippians, to enlist in the Confederate
Then at his own request he was relieved from duty and was succeeded by Gen. Lloyd Tilghman
, who said, in a letter to Asst. Adjt.-Gen. W. W. Mackall
: ‘Under all the circumstances, I doubt not that General Alcorn
has made the best of things.’
upon his return home was placed by Governor Pettus
in command of troops enlisted for sixty days. These were under the orders of Gen. Leonidas Polk
and were armed with every variety of weapon.
's service throughout the war consisted in getting soldiers ready for the field.
In this capacity he was faithful and diligent.
After the close of the war the State
government of Mississippi
was reorganized on the plan of President Andrew Johnson
. Brigadier-General Humphreys
was elected governor, and to prove to the people of the United States
the sincerity of their renewed allegiance the legislature elected to the United States Senate two old-line Whigs, Wm. L. Sharkey
and James L. Alcorn
, who, like Alexander Stephens
, had opposed secession until the question was decided and had then bowed to the will of the State
Representatives were chosen at the same time, but Congress, in the hands of the ultra-radical wing of the Republican party, refused admission to these senators and representatives.