John C. Breckinridge (1821-1875) was a politician who served as the 14th vice president of the United States and as a Confederate general during the Civil War (1861-65). A native of Kentucky, Breckinridge began his political career as a state representative before serving in the U.S. Congress from 1851-1855. Breckinridge was elected the 14th vice president of the United States in 1856, and then mounted an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1860. He joined the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War and served as a brigade commander at the Battle of Shiloh. Promoted to major general in 1862, Breckinridge fought at the Battles of Stones River and Chickamauga before taking command of Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864. He would later play an important role at the Battles of New Market and Cold Harbor before serving as the final Confederate secretary of war in 1865. After the Civil War Breckinridge fled abroad before returning to Kentucky in 1869. He died in 1875 at the age of 54.