William Bowen Campbell

William Bowen Campbell was born on a farm in Sumner County, Tennessee, on February 1, 1807. Educated as a lawyer, he commenced practice in Carthage, Tennessee, and in 1836 took a gallant part in the war with the Seminoles as captain of the 2nd Tennessee Mounted Volunteers, whose colonel was William Trousdale. The following year Campbell defeated Trousdale for Congress in a campaign which pitted the Whigs against the Democratic followers of ex-President Andrew Jackson. Retiring after three terms, Campbell reentered military service as colonel of the 1st Tennessee Infantry in the war with Mexico. This regiment, known as the "Bloody First," fought at Monterey, Vera Cruz, and Cerro Gordo. In 1851 Campbell was elected governor of Tennessee over his old opponent Trousdale. His campaign slogan was "Boys, Follow Me," a cry he had immortalized at the battle of Monterey. He was the last Whig governor of Tennessee. A decade later, he was forced to preside at the dissolution of his party when, after supporting John Bell and strongly opposing secession, he found Bell swearing allegiance to the Confederacy. As the most distinguished Middle-Tennessee loyalist, he was wooed by both the Confederate and Washington governments. From the latter he accepted a brigadier general's commission on June 30, 1862, which he resigned on January 26, 1863. Thereafter, he labored unceasingly for the restoration of Tennessee to the Union on a conservative basis; he was a champion of Andrew Johnson and his policies in the early Reconstruction years. This failed to arouse the enthusiasm of the Republican Radicals, who opposed the seating of Campbell upon his election to the House of Representatives in 1865. He died in Lebanon, Tennessee, on August 19, 1867, and was buried there.

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Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.