(1828 - 1918)
Home State: Tennessee
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 14th Tennessee Infantry
He moved to Clarksville in Montgomery County, TN from Pennsylvania in 1856 and he built and operated a flour mill on the Cumberland River. On 1 June 1861, a 32 year old engineer, he enlisted and mustered as Private, Company L, 14th Tennessee Infantry. He was appointed First Lieutenant and Adjutant. At the reorganization of April 1862 he was elected Major of the Regiment. Lt Col Harrell was mortally wounded at Cedar Run (Mountain), VA on 9 August and McCombs was promoted to replace him. When Colonel Forbes was killed at Second Manassas, he was made Colonel (to date from 2 September).
On the Campaign
He commanded his regiment at Sharpsburg. In his after-action report, his Brigade commander, General Archer noted:
My loss in this action was 15 killed and 90 wounded; among the latter Colonel [William] McComb, Fourteenth Tennessee, severely, and Captain [T. W.] Flynt, Nineteenth Georgia, dangerously. The gallant conduct of both these officers attracted my attention, though where all who were engaged behaved so gallantly it is difficult to select examples of particular merit.
The rest of the War
He was wounded again, in action at Chancellorsville, VA in May 1863 and returned to duty after July 1863. As senior Colonel he commanded the Brigade toward the end of the war and was commissioned Brigadier General, CSA on 20 January 1865.
After the War
He lived in Richmond, VA, and was a farmer in Gordonsville, VA at his death in 1918, age 89.
References & notes
Service from a sketch in Confederate Military History 1 with details from his Compiled Service Records via the Historical Data Systems database. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph of unknown provenance found in a number of places in print and online. This copy accompanied his Cross of Honor sold by Mickey Kiser of Akins Americana. Another photograph of him (c. 1890) is in the Library of Congress.
11/21/1828; Mercer County, PA
07/21/1918; Gordonsville, VA; burial in Mechanicsville Baptist Church Cemetery, Boswell's Tavern, Louisa County, VA