William Barksdale
(1821-1863)

Brigadier General

Headstone: 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

William Barksdale was born Smyrna, Rutherford County, Tennessee, August 21, 1821. He attended the University of Nashville and then studied law in Columbus, Mississippi, after which he edited the Columbus Democrat. He served in the Mexican War as enlisted man and officer; and was in 1852 elected to Congress from Mississippi, where he vehemently upheld the cause of states rights until his resignation upon the secession of his state. Barksdale was at first appointed quartermaster general of Mississippi; then entered Confederate service as colonel of the 13th Mississippi, which he commanded at First Manassas. First as a regimental commander and subsequently as brigadier, ranking from August 12, 1862, Barksdale distinguished himself on all the early fields of the Army of Northern Virginia, with the exception of Second Manassas, where his brigade was not present. At Fredericksburg "Barksdale's Mississippians" were posted in cellars and behind fences along the river bank. They frustrated for hours the efforts of Burnside's engineers to bridge the Rappahannock. On the second day of the battle of Gettysburg he was mortally wounded during the assault of Hood and McLaws on the Round Tops, and died within the Union lines on the following day, July 3, 1863. His remains were ultimately interred in Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, Mississippi.

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