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 William Wirt Adams

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William Wirt Adams

Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, he graduated from Bardstown College in 1839, and went to Texas to fight for Texan Independence. He enlisted in the regiment commanded by Colonel Edward Burleson, was made Adjutant of the unit and fought against the Indians in northeast Texas. He then moved to Mississippi and made his living in banking and agriculture through the end of the 1850s. While in Mississippi he was married, and served in the the Mississippi State Legislature in 1858. In early 1861 he operated as a Confederate agent in Louisiana, helping the state to secede. When the Confederate States of America was formed, President Jefferson Davis offered Adams the position of Postmaster General, which he declined. Instead, he returned to Mississippi and formed the 1st Mississippi Cavalry regiment. Commissioned its Colonel and commander, he fought a rear guard action as the Confederates were forced to flee Kentucky. He then saw action at the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh and the April to June 1862 Siege of Corinth. After the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi in July 1863, his command harassed and had skirmishes with Union cavalry units. In September of 1863 another regiment was assigned to Colonel Adams regiment and he was promoted to Brigadier General, PACS on September 25, 1863. After his promotion he was given the unenviable task of attacking Union Major General William T. Sherman's forces, who were marching on Meridian, Mississippi. Towards the end of the conflict, he served with General Nathan Bedford Forest in Alabama. His brigade surrendered in Sumter County, Alabama on May 4, 1865 and he gave his farewell speech to the troops two days later. He returned to Mississippi after his parole, and was appointed a state revenue agent in 1880, a position he held until 1885 when President Grover Cleveland appointed him as postmaster of Jackson, Mississippi. A newspaper editor, and bitter critic of Adams, murdered him during a street quarrel.

Bio by: Tom Todd


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 3 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9851
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Wirt Adams (22 Mar 1819–1 May 1888), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9851, citing Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .