William Nelson Rector Beall

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 Nelson Rector Beall was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, March 20, 1825. He entered the United States Military Academy in 1844 and was graduated four years later. As with so many of the younger officers of his day, his regular army service was principally on the western frontier. Having attained the rank of captain in the 1st Cavalry, he resigned his commission, August 20, 1861, and was appointed a captain of cavalry in the Regular Confederate Army to take rank from March 16, 1861. Beall served in Arkansas under General Van Dorn, and was commissioned brigadier general on April 11, 1862. Thereafter he and his mixed brigade of Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana troops were stationed at Port Hudson, where they were surrendered on July 9, 1863. General Beall was first imprisoned on Johnson's Island. In 1864, by virtue of an agreement between the authorities at Washington and Richmond, he was released on parole to act as Confederate agent to supply prisoners of war. In this capacity he maintained an office in New York City, and sold cotton, which was permitted to come through the Federal blockade.  The proceeds were mainly devoted to the purchase of clothing and blankets for the relief of Confederate soldiers in Northern prison camps. He was finally released on August 2, 1865. He became a general commission merchant at St. Louis, dying in McMinnville, Tennessee, July 25, 1883. He is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville.

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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.