William McComb, a native of Pennsylvania, was born in Mercer County, November 21, 1828. This date accords with his death certificate, although a sketch of his life written in 1885 records his birth four years later. He went to Tennessee in 1854 and took up residence at Clarksville, where he engaged in various manufacturing interests, including the erection of a flour mill on the Cumberland River. Enlisting as a private in the 14th Tennessee Infantry, he was elected 2nd lieutenant in May 1861, and major the following year; rising to lieutenant colonel after Cedar Mountain, and colonel after Second Manassas. Meantime he had served gallantly in all the battles of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days onward, as well as in the Cheat Mountain campaign of 1861. Severely wounded at Sharpsburg and Chancellorsville, he was not present at Gettysburg, but took part in the Overland campaign of 1864 and in the subsequent siege of Petersburg. He was promoted brigadier general to rank from January 20, 1865. Paroled at Appomattox Court House, General McComb resided in Alabama and Mississippi for a time, and in 1869 moved to Louisa County, Virginia, where he was engaged in farming for nearly fifty years; but toward the latter part of his life, he spent his winters in Richmond. He died on his plantation near Gordonsville, July 21, 1918, presumably in his ninetieth year, and is buried in Louisa County.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.