Edmund Winston Pettus House Site
Edmund Pettus was a lawyer a General in the Confederate Army and was a United States senator. The Edmund Pettus Bridge was named after him which was the site of the Bloody Sunday Events during the Civil Rights battles during the sixties. The ironic thing about the bridge that would be site of a major civil rights battle being named after Edmund was that he was a member of the Klu Klux Klan. Although for many years he did not live in this house in Selma spending many of his early years in different states. He lived in this house from 1866 until his death in 1907.
Backstory and Context
He helped organize the 20th Alabama Infantry and became one of its first officers. He was captured a few times by union troops escaping every time or took part in a exchange of troops was freed. Usually every time after his exchange he was promoted a rank and eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General. He was given brigade control of the army of Tennessee. He participated in the Confederates defense of the deep south during Shermans march to the sea. Pettus was sent to the defense of Columbia, South Carolina. When the Confederacy surrendered to the Union Pettus received a pardon from the United States Government.
After the war Pettus returned to his life of law practice in Selma, which is when he moved into this historic house. He led the Klu Kux Klan while living in Selma as the grand master. During this time he also served in the United States senate first in 1897 and later in 1903. He died in Hot Springs, California in 1907, His body is buried in Live Oak Cemetery in Selma. His legacy lives on with a bridge in Selma, Alabama being named after him.