Edward Cary Walthall

Major General

Monument: Find-a-Grave

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Reference: Alabama Department of Archives & History. Custodian of the original pictures. Confederate Officers photo album.  http://www.archives.alabama.gov/conoffalb/index.html

Edward Cary Walthall was born on April 4, 1831, in Richmond. Virginia. He moved with his parents to Holly Springs, Mississippi, when he was ten, and was educated there at St. Thomas Hall. Later he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1852. Four years afterwards he was elected district attorney and reelected in 1859. Elected 1st lieutenant of the Yalobusha Rifles in 1861, which became part of the 15th Mississippi, he shortly became lieutenant colonel of the regiment. He took a most commendable part in the disastrous engagement of Mill Springs (Fishing Creek) in January 1862. On April 11, 1862 he was elected colonel of the 29th Mississippi, which he commanded at Corinth and in the Kentucky campaign. Absent from the battle of Murfreesboro because of illness, he was promoted brigadier to rank from December 13, 1862, and fought gallantly at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. During the latter campaign he commanded the Confederates in the so-called "Battle above the Clouds" which was neither a battle nor fought above the clouds. In this engagement Walthall's thin skirmish line was notably distinguished, and its commander sustained a painful wound in the foot. Walthall fought with his customary steadfastness in the Atlanta campaign, and was promoted to major general from July 6, 1864. He went with Hood into Tennessee and had two horses killed under him at Franklin. Selected to command the rear guard in the retreat from Nashville the following month, General Walthall accompanied the remnant of the Army of Tennessee to the Carolinas, and was paroled at Greensboro on May 1, 1865. He resumed his law practice and became a leader in the movement to overthrow the carpetbag regime in Mississippi. He was appointed to the United States Senate, serving almost continuously from 1885 until his death in Washington, April 21, 1898. He is buried in Holly Springs.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.