William Harvey Lamb Wallace
(William Hervey Lamme Wallace)
William Harvey Lamb Wallace was born in Urbana, Ohio, on July 8, 1821. As a small boy he moved with his father to Illinois, where the family settled in La Salle County. In 1846 he was admitted to the state bar, but the following year volunteered as a private in the 1st Illinois Volunteers for service in the Mexican War. He rose to be first lieutenant and regimental adjutant and fought in a number of engagements under General Za-chary Taylor. In the years following he served by election as district attorney and practiced law until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he reentered the army as colonel of the 11th Illinois. This was a ninety-day command which reenlisted for three years' service upon expiration of its original term and was commanded by Wallace during the early months of the war. In the course of the siege and capture of Fort Donelson he commanded a brigade of McClernand's division so ably that he was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers on March 21, 1862. At the crucial battle of Shiloh in April, Wallace was given command of one of the six divisions of U. S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee, which he directed with bravery and circumspection until he was compelled to fall back on the position of Benjamin M. Prentiss' division in the "Hornets' Nest." Prentiss was ultimately forced to surrender his position after standing off repeated Confederate assaults. The ultimate surrender reflected in no way upon Wallace's gallantry; while pulling his command out of a hopeless situation and taking his men to the rear, he was mortally wounded. He died at Savannah, Tennessee (Grant's headquarters), on April 10, 1862, and was buried in a private cemetery near Ottawa, Illinois.
Reference: Generals in Blue. Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge.