He had been active in politics before the war, and returned to it, an embittered man, afterwards. He became a leading fighter against Republican Reconstruction in the south, he went in to serve again in the Senate, and was also the US Railroad Commissioner for a time, having been appointed by President Grover Cleveland.
The monument to him in this photograph is situated in Marion Square, Charleston, SC
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In 1871, he defended Thomas McGehan who was accused of shooting one Tom Myers during a barroom brawl. Vallandighamâ€™s defense was that Myers had accidentally shot himself while drawing his pistol from a kneeling position.
To convince the jury, Vallandigham decided to demonstrate his theory. Unfortunately, he grabbed a loaded gun by mistake and ended up shooting himself!
By dying, Vallandigham succeeded in demonstrating the plausibility of the accidental shooting and got his client acquitted.