William Henry Talbot Walker

Monument: Find-a-Grave

William Henry Talbot Walker was born in Augusta, Georgia, November 26, 1816, and was graduated from West Point in the class of 1837. His career in the old army was both varied and distinguished. After sustaining a desperate wound in service against the Seminoles, he resigned from the army in 1838, but was reappointed in 1840. He was brevetted major and lieutenant colonel for his conduct in the Mexican War, where he was again wounded so gravely that he was given up by the surgeons. Despite his wounds and general poor health—it was said that he could rarely sleep except in a sitting posture — Walker was one of the most experienced officers in the army when he resigned his major's commission on December 20, 1860. Appointed a brigadier in the Confederate service on May 25, 1861, he was stationed successively at Pensacola and in Northern Virginia. He resigned on October 29, ostensibly because of his health but more probably from dissatisfaction, for he was at once commissioned major general of Georgia state troops. He was appointed brigadier general in the Confederate Army to rank from February 9, 1863; soon afterwards he was promoted major general to rank from May 23, at the instance of General Joseph E. Johnston, who pronounced Walker the only officer in his command competent to lead a division. He took part in the Vicksburg campaign under Johnston and commanded the Reserve Corps at Chickamauga. At the battle of Atlanta, on July 22, 1864, during Hardee's attack on the Federal left in front of the city, General Walker was instantly killed by a picket of the Federal 16th Corps. He is buried in Augusta, Georgia.

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

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