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Confederate (CSV)


William Poynot Harper

(1835 - 1874)

Home State: Louisiana

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 7th Louisiana Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

He graduated from college in Mississippi. A clerk in New Orleans before the War, and son of the former Police Chief there, he enrolled as First Lieutenant of Company H, 7th Louisiana Infantry on June 7, 1861 at Camp Moore, LA. He was promoted to Captain on Captain Henry T. Jetts' resignation in August 1861.

On the Campaign

He was severely wounded in action on 17 September 1862 at Sharpsburg, and captured there.

The rest of the War

He was sent to Ft. McHenry, MD on November 12, 1862 and paroled. He was received at City Point, VA on Nov. 21st and exchanged. He was absent sick until at least February 1863, then on detached service - probably as Assistant Adjutant General (AAG) of the Brigade. He returned to duty on November 2, 1863. He was captured less than a week later at Rappahannock, VA on November 7th. Sent to Washington, DC November 8th, and received at Johnson's Island, OH November 14. He was paroled for 30 days from September 30, 1864 to go to Richmond to (successfully) negotiate for his own exchange. He was exchanged and retired on October 8, 1864. By 1865 he was a member of the Invalid Corps, and served on General Nicholl's staff in the Trans-Mississippi Department.

After the War

He was Secretary of the Louisiana Equitable Company. A member of the Guard by 1870, he was briefly Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard (1872) - to succeed James Longstreet). He was elected Sheriff of New Orleans in 1872.

References & notes

Basic information from Booth1. Life dates from his gravesite on Findagrave. Details from a bio sketch in Evans J. Casso's Louisiana Legacy: A History of the State National Guard (1975) and one online in the Dictionary of Louisiana Biography from the Louisiana Historical Association. Harper's diary is in the Tulane University Library, New Orleans.


11/05/1835; New Orleans, LA


12/03/1874; burial in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, LA


1   Booth, Andrew B., Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, 3 Volumes, New Orleans: State of Louisiana, 1920, Vol. 3, Book 1, pg. 196  [AotW citation 13976]