Leroy Pope Walker

Brigadier 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

Leroy Pope Walker was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on February 7, 1817. After attending the University of Alabama for a time, he left to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1837. He soon became prominent politically. He served a number of terms in the state legislature, was a judge of the circuit court, a delegate to the Nashville Convention of 1850, and Presidential Elector for the state at large in 1848, 1852, and 1856. Walker was closely identified with Alabama's secession movement and was chairman of the state's delegation to the Charleston and Richmond Democratic conventions of 1860. Because of this background—as well as for geographical reasons—he became the Confederacy's first Secretary of War on February 21, 1861. However, he lacked administrative experience and failed to cope with the tremendous tasks of the department. Having aroused more than a little criticism in Congress, he resigned on September 16. The following day he was appointed a brigadier general in the Provisional Army. Serving in garrison command at Mobile and then Montgomery, he failed to secure field duty and resigned his commission on March 31, 1862. From April 6, 1864 until the close of the war, he served with rank of colonel as presiding judge of a military court in North Alabama. He resumed his law practice in Huntsville after the war, and became president of the state constitutional convention of 1875, and a delegate at large to the Democratic National Conventions of 1876 and 1884. He is buried in Huntsville, where he died on August 22, 1884.

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