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 William “Bull” Nelson

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William “Bull” Nelson

  • Birth 27 Sep 1824 Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, USA
  • Death 29 Sep 1862 Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
  • Burial Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, USA
  • Memorial ID 5894212

Civil War Union Major General. Born in Mayville, Kentucky, for over twenty years he served as an officer in the US Navy. Just after the outbreak of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln authorized him to arm Kentucky loyalists with 5,000 muskets. This led to him being detached from the Navy to recruit 10,000 troops for a campaign into East Tennessee. He was appointed to Brigadier General of US Volunteers on September 16, 1861 and promoted to Major General in July 1862. During the defense of Louisville, Kentucky, in September 1862, his disdain lackadaisical behavior led Nelson to angrily dismiss Union Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis from his corps after a battle. On September 29, 1862, during an argument at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky, Nelson was shot and killed by Union Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis. Davis was never prosecuted for the murder and both generals became better noted for that affair rather than the commendable service they both gave to their country.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 26 Oct 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5894212
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William “Bull” Nelson (27 Sep 1824–29 Sep 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5894212, citing Maysville Cemetery, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .