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Scarce image of Mary Lincoln's cousin General John B. Todd
Scarce image of Mary Lincoln's first cousin, General John B. S. Todd.
Please see extensive information below. McAllister, Philadelphia paper label b/m.
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Todd, John B. S., brigadier-general, was born at Lexington, Ky. April 4, 1814. The family removed in 1827 to Illinois, whence he was appointed to the U. S. military academy. He was graduated in 1837, assigned to the 6th infantry and became first lieutenant on Dec. 25 of that year. He served with his regiment in the Florida war from 1837 to 1840; was on recruiting service in 1841; again took part in the Florida war until 1842; was promoted captain in 1843 and performed frontier duty in the Indian territory and Arkansas, 1843-46. During the war with Mexico he took part at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo and Amozoque in 1847, and was thereafter at various garrisons and frontier posts. In 1855 he shared in the fight against the Sioux at Blue Water. Resigning in Sept., 1856, he became an Indian trader at Fort Randall, Dak.; was sent as a delegate to Congress in 1861, as a Democrat promptly reentered the Federal service when the Civil war commenced, was appointed a brigadier-general of volunteers and commanded a division in the Army of the Tennessee from Sept., 1861, to July, 1862 and was in command of the North Missouri district from Oct. 1 to Dec. 1, 1861. He was again elected a delegate to Congress, 1863-65; served in the Dakota legislature 1867-69; was speaker of its lower house; and in 1869-71 was governor of the territory. Gen. Todd was a founder of the city of Yankton and one of the leading citizens of Dakota in his time. By marriage he was connected with Abraham Lincoln and John C. Breckinridge. He died at Yankton, S. D., Jan. 5, 1872.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 8

Todd was born in Lexington, Kentucky to John and Elizabeth (Smith) Todd, and moved with his parents to Illinois in 1827. His first cousin was Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln. Thus he was cousin-in-law with the President. Another cousin-in-law was Confederate General Benjamin Hardin Helm. Helm's father was Kentucky Governor John Helm; Helm's mother was a first cousin, three times removed of Colonel John Hardin, who was related to three Kentucky Congressmen.

Todd graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1837, and was assigned to the 6th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to first lieutenant on December 25 and served with his regiment in the Seminole War from 1837 until 1840. He returned home on recruiting service during part of 1841, and again in active service in the Florida war during the remainder of that year and part of 1842.

He was made captain in 1843, and was on frontier duty in Indian Territory and Arkansas until 1846. He served in the Mexican-American War in 1847, taking part in the Siege of Veracruz and the battles of Cerro Gordo and Amazoque. Todd was on garrison and frontier duty till 1855, when he was engaged in the action of Blue Water against the Sioux Indians. He resigned from the United States Army on September 16, 1856, and became an Indian trader, settling at Fort Randall, Dakota Territory. He was admitted to the bar in 1861 and commenced the practice of law in Yankton.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, he was appointed on September 19, 1861, as a brigadier general of Volunteers. He was in command of the North Missouri district from October 15 until December 1, 1861. He resigned from the Army on July 17, 1862.

He was a delegate to the 37th and 38th United States Congress, between 1861 and 1865. When the Dakota Territory was formed, Todd was elected as a Democrat to the House, serving from December 9, 1861, to March 3, 1863. He was reelected to serve from June 17, 1864, to March 3, 1865. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1864, and returned to Yankton. He served as speaker of the territorial House of Representatives in 1866 and 1867. He was once again unsuccessful in running for the nomination for a Congressional seat in 1868.

He died in Yankton County and is interred in Yankton Cemetery. Todd County, South Dakota and Todd County, Minnesota are named after him.