US Senator, Major General. Born in Monroe, Southampton County, Virginia, son of Tavern keeper Fielding Jordan Mahone and Martha Drew of Hertford, North Carolina. His grandfathers were veterans of the war of 1812. William was nearly five years of age when the Nat Turner insurrection occurred in Southampton County. His father was then Lieutenant Colonel of the Southampton militia therefore he played and important part in the overthrow of the insurrection. During this time the family moved to the town of Jerusalem (now Courtland) where his father opened a Tavern across from the county courthouse. As a youth Billy carried the mail and was a wiz at the gaming table. He gained a primary education from the county schoolmaster and learned mathematics from his father. When he was fifteen he entered the Littletown Academy located in Sussex County. He was a student for 2 years gaining a social, cultural as well as a scholastic value. In 1844 less than 18 years of age he was appointed a State Cadet at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington Virginia. He graduated in 1847 8th in a class of 12. In 1848 to1849 he was a Teacher at the Rappahonnock Academy in Caroline County, Virginia. 1851 to 1861 pursuing his fascination for the railroad, he was appointed engineer of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad and later General Superintendent of the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. During this time he meet and married Otelia Butler, daughter of Dr. Robert Butler and Otelia Voinard. The Mahone's would name the station stops along the newly completed Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad. On the outbreak of the civil war William was appointed Quartermaster general of Virginia and then Colonel of the Sixth Virginia Infantry Regiment; promoted to Brigadier General November 1861, and then promoted to Major General on July 1864 for his performance at the Battle of the Crater near Petersburg, Virginia. In 1864 during the war he was elected to the Virginia General Assembly. After the war he returned to engineering rebuilding the Norfolk and Petersburg line and late in 1865 he was President of the South Side Railroad. In 1877 he ran for Governor, which was unsuccessful. In 1881 to1887 he served, as one of two Virginia's State Senator's in the US Senate, the other was his good friend Harrison Holt Riddleberger. He died in Washington DC.