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Confederate (CSV)


William Franklin Karsner

(1831 - 1889)

Home State: Alabama

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Alabama Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He was the unmarried 32 year old sheriff of Florence, AL when he enrolled as 3rd Lieutenant on 28 April 1861 in Company H, 4th Alabama Infantry. He was present at most engagements from First Manassas, VA - where he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 21 July 1861 - to Second Manassas, VA. He had been made First Lieutenant at Yorktown, VA on 21 April 1862 and Captain on 28 June at Gaines' Mill, VA.

On the Campaign

He was slightly wounded in action at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862:

Just as we reached the [Dunker] Church ... Captain Karsner, Lieutenant Dan Turner and I were slowly wending our way in that direction, a shell of the enemy from over on the right of the line bursting near us, a fragment struck Karsner's too prominent nose. The shock was so great it knocked him a severe fall, at full length upon his back. We ran to him, thinking he was killed. On examination, as he still remained where he fell, though bleeding profusely, we found the wound very slight. With the blood running down in his eyes and mouth, he presented, lying there, a most ludicrous sight, so much that it was impossible to avert a smile on our part. He imagined that the missile had gone entirely through his head, so great was the shock; and when he observed that we entertained so little feeling for a "dying" comrade, promptly arose and, still quite dazed, abused us soundly for our lack of sympathy. After being convinced that it was nothing serious, he soon regained his usual merry mood.

Just then General Hood was seen approaching from the rear ... Lieutenant Turner remarked, "Captain, wipe that blood from your face before General Hood reaches us." "No," he said, "I'll see see if I can make him sympathize with me." He then, with his hands, smeared the clotted blood thickly over his face. General Hood exclaimed as he rode up, "My God! Captain, I am sorry to see you so seriously wounded." "Yes, General," he said, "I came very near getting my face shot off." General Hood was as sympathetic as a woman.

The rest of the War

In action from Fredericksburg, VA in December 1862 through to the siege of Petersburg, VA in 1864. He was issued a parole pass on 9 April 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse, VA.

References & notes

Basic information from State of Alabama1. The quote above from Coles.2 Details from family genealogists.


1831; Florence, AL


05/06/1889 Jefferson, KY


1   State of Alabama, Dept. of Archives & History, Alabama Civil War Service Database, Published 2004, first accessed 01 January 2010, <>, Source page: various  [AotW citation 15703]

2   Coles, Robert T., and Jeffrey D. Stocker, editor, From Huntsville to Appomattox: R. T. Coles's History of 4th Regiment, Alabama Infantry, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996, pg. 69  [AotW citation 15727]