Wilburn Hill King
Wilburn Hill King was born on June
10, 1839, in Collodenville, Georgia, the son of Alexander and Mary (Douglas)
King. He studied both law and medicine in Americus, Georgia. In 1860 he settled
in Cass County, Texas.
The outbreak of the war found King engaged in business in Warrensburg, Missouri. He immediately enlisted in the Missouri State Guard and was elected lieutenant of the "Johnson Guards." The guards entered service as Company E of the 3rd (Price's) Infantry Regiment. As captain King led the guards at the Battles of Carthage and Wilson's Creek and in the latter battle. Upon being discharged from the guards King returned to Texas and enlisted as a private in the 18th Texas Infantry. On May 13, 1862, he was elected major of the 18th; promotions to lieutenant colonel (February 25, 1863) and colonel (to rank from August 10, 1863) followed. The 18th was attached to McCullough's (later John G. Walker's) Texas infantry division. In the fall of 1863 the 18th was temporarily attached to Thomas Green's cavalry division, at that time fighting in Louisiana. In his first action as colonel, at the November 3, 1863, Battle of Bayou Bourbeau, King led his regiment, "with undaunted firmness," in a successful attack on a Union army detachment.' By 1864 the 18th rejoined Walker's division. At the April 8, 1864, Battle of Mansfield, Walker's division helped smash three Union divisions in a whirlwind assault. King was severely wounded at the end of the attack and spent several months recuperating. On April 16, 1864, General E. Kirby Smith assigned King to duty as brigadier general, to date from April 8. The intention was that King would take command of the Texas brigade formerly commanded by Camille Polignac. However, because of his Mansfield wound King was unable to assume that command until October, 1864. In February, 1865, he was assigned to command the newly formed 4th Brigade in Walker's old division. By the end of the war King commanded that division.
King fled to Mexico upon the
collapse of the Confederacy. He briefly operated a sugar plantation in Central
America, then returned to Texas and practiced law in Jefferson. Moving to
Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County about 1875, he was mayor of that town, a state
representative (1878 to 1881), and adjutant general of Texas (1881 to 1891).
After 1891 General King retired to his Sulphur Springs home and devoted himself
to the affairs of the Masonic order. General King died on December 12, 1910, in
Sulphur Springs and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana.
Wood, Heitman, CMH, SHSP, and CV all list King as a general.
Reference: More Generals in Gray. Bruce S. Allardice. A companion volume to Generals in Gray. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.