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Gen William Barksdale

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Gen William Barksdale

  • Birth 21 Aug 1821 Smyrna, Rutherford County, Tennessee, USA
  • Death 3 Jul 1863 Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Burial Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, USA
  • Plot Confederate Section. Barksdale's name is inscribed on the Confederate Dead memorial. His actual gravesite, in the Barksdale Plot, has no marker.
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 9855

Civil War Confederate Brigadier General, US Congressman. Born in Smyrna, Tennessee, he studied law at Columbus Mississippi and was admitted to the Bar in 1842. He enlisted in the US Army during the Mexican War and served as a Captain in the 2nd Mississippi Infantry Regiment. After the war, he returned to Mississippi, where he was elected as a Democrat the United States Congress in 1853 and served until 1861, when he resigned after Mississippi's secession from the Union at the start of the Civil War. Returning to Mississippi, he joined the Conferate Army as Colonel in command of the 13th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. He fought at the battles of Manassas, Edwards Ferry, Richmond, Savage Station and was promoted Brigadier General in July in 1862. He commanded his brigade in many other ensuing battles leading up to when he arrived at the Battle of Gettysburg just after midnight on July 2, 1863. That morning he led his corps in an assault on Union forces at the Peach Orchard and nearly defeated them. Beyond the Peach Orchard was the Trostle House where the 9th Massachusetts Artillery was located and the Federal battery was shelling Barksdale's men furiously. Barksdale begged his division commander Lafayette McLaws and corps commander James Longstreet for permission to charge the battery. Ordered to wait, he then called all his officers for a conference when the message came that he could advance. Advancing toward the Trostle house, he ordered his men to charge with brigade breaking the Federal line, but Barksdale was mortally shot nine times. Even though they overran the artillery battery, they weren't strong enough to hold the ground, Barksdale was captured and carried to surgeons at the Hummelbaugh house. General Barksdale survived until the next day when he died from his wounds. It is reported that his last words were: "I am killed! Tell my wife and children that I died fighting at my post".

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 4 Jun 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9855
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gen William Barksdale (21 Aug 1821–3 Jul 1863), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9855, citing Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .