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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 01/13/2013 13:47:09 EDT
Subject: A.T. Leftwich - Signalman CSA

Message Detail:
LEFTWICH Alexander T., son of Augustine and Elizabeth Williams (Clark) Leftwich, was born January 18, 1845, and early received the foundation of a thorough education, first attending a private school kept in his native town, Lynchburg, Virginia, and afterward entering Lynchburg College, at that time a prominent educational institution.

While pursuing his studies there the Civil War broke out, and in February, 1863, he enlisted in the Signal Corps of the Confederate army. After seeing some service he was taken prisoner by General Grant's army at the fall of Vicksburg. One night, during the siege, two barges, one on each side of a tug, carrying supplies down the river, were shot at while passing the city and set fire to in the middle of the stream.

Among those who were rescued from the barges and brought in as prisoners was - - Richardson, then a correspondent of the New York Tribune, and subsequently a party to the famous Richardson-McFarland incident. Mr. Leftwich treated him with courtesy and kindness, and after the surrender, Richardson, in gratitude, sought him out and gave him a helping hand after a long illness. Mr. Leftwich was subsequently paroled and then exchanged, serving until the surrender of a part of the Army of Virginia at Charlotte, North Carolina, near the close of the conflict.

With the return of peace Mr. Leftwich resumed his studies, subsequently graduating at the University of Virginia. While there he was secretary of the Jefferson Society, and in looking over the minutes from the time of its organization curiosity impelled him to seek for the records kept years before by the poet, Edgar Allan Poe, who, when at college, had been the society's secretary.

What was his surprise to find that the pages were missing, the remaining edges showing the course of the vandal's knife!

Thus a most interesting part of the records of the society are forever lost to its members. Mr. Leftwich was afterwards president of the Alumni Association in Maryland.

In 1868 Mr. Leftwich came to Baltimore and established the firm of Ricards, Leftwich & Company, of which he is now the sole surviving member. In 1878 the firm, which has always maintained a high standard of integrity, and which had steadily grown to prominence in the tobacco business, organized the department of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company known as the "Locust Point Tobacco Inspection."

This department has ever since been successfully conducted by the firm. The long period of Mr. Leftwich's business career has been one of unabating energy and unfaltering industry. His commercial connections have made him known in Europe as well as at home, and, through his pioneer work in establishing the tobacco trade with Japan, he is well known in the Orient. His determined will, dauntless courage, and unshakable poise render him a man to be counted upon in any emergency and depended upon in any situation of life.

While devoted to his home city and progressive in his plans for her improvement, Mr. Leftwich desires to see her progress rest on a sure foundation and will consent to further no projects which lack the element of permanence. He has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce and other representative organizations and is at present a director in the First National Bank. Since 1868 he has belonged to the Maryland Club, being one of about five continuous members who were associated with the club
when he joined it. He is one of the original members of the Merchants'Club and also holds membership in the Baltimore Country Club and similar organizations devoted to outdoor sports for which he has always had a strong predilection. He possesses a cultivated musical taste and much musical ability, and was one of the organizing members of the old Baltimore Glee Club. He has never taken a prominent part in politics and has always shown a decided disinclination to accept office. In 1896 and 1900
he served as a member of the Committee of Seventy in the silver fights and he is now Belgian consul at Baltimore.

Mr. Leftwich married, October 16, 1878, Rosalie Vivian Lightfoot, of Mobile, Alabama, who died in November, 1910. She was a descendant of two distinguished families of Virginia and Alabama. There are two sons : Vivian C. and Alexander Thornton. Mrs. Leftwich, a woman of the most attractive personality, presided with charming graciousness and tact over a home which is the abode of culture and refinement and enriched by many valuable and beautiful heirlooms. Among them, in addition to portraits and mahogany furniture, are an old clock imported in 1735, and a set of silver tumblers, bearing the Leftwich crest and a date, which have been in daily use for over one hundred years. Mr. Leftwich is a man of strong presence, affable and courteous in manner and a pleasing
and interesting conversationalist. He finds in travel one of his chief recreations, and some years ago, while in London with Mrs. Leftwich, the latter, strolling in one of the suburban parks, sat down on a bench the other end
of which was occupied by a lady with a little pet dog.

The diminutive animal, with the usual confiding friendliness peculiar to his race, began making advances to Mrs. Leftwich. His mistress apologizing, the ladies entered into conversation, and when Mrs. Leftwich happened to say that she was waiting for her husband, Mr. Leftwich, to her infinite astonishment, the strange lady explained, with amazement, that she was the sister of Dr. Ralph Winnington Leftwich, of London. When Mr. Leftwich joined them, explanations followed which proved them to belong to the same Leftwich family. The relations between the two families in England and America have been very cordial ever since, and Mr. and Mrs. Left wich have been entertained at Leftwich Hall. Mr. Leftwich has in his possession a beautiful water color of the mansion, painted by the celebrated artist, George R. Leftwich, of Hertfordshire, England, who has done some professional work for King Edward. His brother, Dr. Ralph Winnington Leftwich, of London, stands high in his profession and is an author of some note. Alexander T. Leftwich has recently returned from England, where he had the pleasure of meeting and being entertained by his English cousins, and as Belgian consul he was royally entertained while in
Brussels, an especial attache being placed at his service.

Men of the type of Mr. Leftwich form, in every community, a small but dominant class. They are men who combine with the enterprise, prudence and knowledge of affairs of the well-trained civilian the determination, forethought and daring of the experienced military commander. These are the men who constitute the bulwark of the growth and development of every great city.

Source: HISTORY OF BALTIMORE AND ITS PEOPLE BY VARIOUS CONTRIBUTORS - VOLUME III BIOGRAPHY - LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY - NEW YORK CHICAGO, 1912 - pp. 717 -718


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