Williams Carter Wickham

Headstone: Find-a-Grave

Williams Carter Wickham was born on September 21, 1820, at Richmond, Virginia. He was educated at the University of Virginia, and after being admitted to the bar in 1842, he practiced law for a time, and became a planter. In 1849 he was elected to the house of delegates and was in 1859 sent to the state senate. Meantime he was for many years presiding justice of the Hanover County court. Although a Union man in principle, he took his militia company, the Hanover Dragoons, into Confederate service immediately upon the secession of his state. He was present at the battle of First Manassas, and was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 4th Virginia Cavalry in September 1861. He was promoted to colonel in August 1862. His army career was connected uninterruptedly with Stuart's Cavalry Corps. Wounded at Williamsburg and again during the Maryland campaign, he remained with the army until the fall of 1864, although he had been elected to the Second Regular Confederate Congress shortly after the battle of Chancellorsville. He was appointed brigadier general to rank from September 1, 1863. His last active service was with Early in the Shenandoah Valley. General Wickham resigned his commission on November 9, 1864, and took his seat in Congress, where he remained until the end of the war. Formerly a Whig, he espoused the Republican party in 1865, and from 1871 to his death was chairman of the board of supervisors of Hanover County. At the same time he was markedly successful in business as president of the Virginia Central Railroad and later of the Chesapeake & Ohio. In 1880 he declined the secretary ship of the navy offered him by President Hayes, and the year following he refused the Republican nomination for governor. For the last five years of his life he was again a member of the state senate. He died in Richmond on July 23, 1888, and is buried in Hanover County, Virginia.

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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