William Allen Parham(1824 - 1865)
Home State: Virginia
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 41st Virginia Infantry
Before the Antietam Campaign:
"Greatly admired by his soldiers", Parham began the war as a Lieutenant (Captain?) in the 41st Virginia Infantry, serving as Provost Marshal at Richmond in March 1862. He was "known to be 'a glorious, brave man, a good fellow and the best curser when he chose' ".
In the Antietam Campaign:
As senior Colonel, he was in command of BGen William Mahone's Brigade - Mahone had been wounded at Second Manassas in August - though Parham himself had been wounded in July at Malvern Hill.
Gen Stuart described Parham's role at Crampton's Gap on September 14 in his official report:
"Colonel Parham, commanding Mahone's brigade, soon after arrived with the Sixth and Twelfth Virginia Infantry, scarcely numbering in all 300 men, and this small force for at least three hours maintained their position and held the enemy in check without assistance of any description from General Semmes, who (Colonel Munford reports) held the next gap below and witnessed all that took place. General Cobb finally came with two regiments to the support of the force holding the gap. At his request Colonel Munford posted the new regiment, when the infantry which had been engaged, having exhausted their ammunition, fell back from their position. The enemy took advantage of this circumstance and suddenly advanced, and the fresh regiments broke before they were well in position. General Cobb made great efforts to rally them, but without the least effect, and it was evident that the gap could no longer be held ..."
The remainder of the War:
Parham still suffered from his wounding at Malvern Hill (July 1862), but continued in command of his Regiment at the battles of Chancellorsville (April 1863) where, according to General Mahone (OR), he 'was everywhere, though less arduous, well and bravely performed', Gettysburg (July), Bristoe (Va - October), and Mine Run (December). He was still listed in command as of August 1864, but was assigned duties as Provost Marshall at Richmond in October, and as commandant of a post at Hicksford, Va 30 November. He had returned to command of his Regiment by the end of January 1865, but "died before war's close, a belatedly mortal wound."
References, Sources, and other notes:
Quotes above from Tim Reese in High Water Mark: The 1862 Maryland Campaign in Strategic Perspective Baltomore, Butternut and Blue, 2004. Additional bio data from a Parham family archive list online. Service and command data from the OR.
|Place of Birth: poss. Pr. George County, VA |
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