LeRoy Pope Walker


LeRoy Pope Walker Famous memorial

Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, USA
Death 23 Aug 1884 (aged 67)
Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, USA
Burial Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, USA
Plot Block 5, Row 8
Memorial ID 11101 View Source

Civil War Confederate Brigadier General, Confederate Cabinet Secretary. As the first Secretary of War in the CSA, appointed by President Jefferson Davis, he gave the signal, by telegraph from Montgomery, for the bombardment of Fort Sumter which started the five year civil war. Leroy Pope Walker was born the eldest son into a pioneer and prominent family, his parents were John Williams Walker and Matilda Pope in Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama. Two of his brothers were distinguished in Alabama politics. Percy Walker represented the Mobile District in Congress and Richard W. Walker became a judge as well as chairman of the Alabama delegation to the Confederate Congress. His grandfather Leroy Pope was a wealthy planter who originally owned much of the land which became Huntsville in the early 19th century and is considered the founder of the city. Well educated...University of Alabama, studied law at the University of Virginia, then admitted to the bar, Edgar Pope Walker quickly established his own law office in Huntsville, Alabama. He became very active in Alabama politics, elected judge and served in the Alabama House of Representatives for several terms becoming Speaker. He chaired the Alabama delegation to the 1860 Democratic National Convention leading a delegation of southern states representatives in a walk out over the issues of slavery and territorial expansion. With the election of Abraham Lincoln as President, he championed Alabama's secession. When the Confederate government was organized, President Jefferson Davis appointed him secretary of war. A poor administrator, unable to organize unity among the secessionist states, he was hindered by constant quarreling with various CSA governors which he fostered. However; during his brief tenure, he managed to mobilize some 200,000 men but was unsuccessful in equipping them with weapons and supplies. Criticism mounted, with his health failing and after a disagreement with President Davis over deployment of troops in Kentucky, he resigned and was given an appointment as a brigadier general the next day. His military career which lasted but several months was as dismal as his tenure in the CSA cabinet. He commanded garrisons at Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama followed by yet another abrupt resignation in 1862.. He was relatively dormant in the southern cause until another appointment in 1864 as a military court judge with the rank of colonel, serving until the conclusion of the war. Post war...He returned to his law practice in Huntsville and was involved with several high profile case. 1883, found him as the defense lawyer for none other then Frank James when he was brought to Huntsville, Alabama to stand trial for the robbery of a public works paymaster of $5,200 at Muscle Shoals and was acquitted. He continued in politics in the same vain as before the civil war serving as President of the Alabama State Constitutional Convention and was once again a state delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Legacy...Walker is the namesake of Walker County, Alabama. Theatre Huntsville, the city of Huntsville's own repertory group will stage a major production starting in January 2006 entitled "The Trial of Frank James in Huntsville, Alabama" written by Jeff Robertson and directed by Sandi Robertson. Extracted accounts from actual courtroom transcripts and newspaper accounts make the script true and authentic. Leroy Pope Walker will come to life again as the defender of Frank James

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 15 Jul 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11101
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for LeRoy Pope Walker (7 Feb 1817–23 Aug 1884), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11101, citing Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Find a Grave .