(c. 1843 - 1875)
Home State: Texas
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 4th Texas Infantry
At about 18 years old he enlisted at Camp Clark in Guadalupe County as a Private in Company B, 4th Texas Infantry on 11 July 1861.
On the Campaign
He was in action with his Company at Fox's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September and at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862:
... at Sharpsburg, after the Brigade was relieved about 10 o'clock am, he was sent off and accidentally meeting the 9th Georgia Regt. reported to Capt King of Co "K" and fought with them till night. Capt King gave him a certificate complimenting him for his gallant conduct thro' the the day, which certificate was endorsed by both the Col commanding the 9th Georgia Regt and Col Anderson - now Brigadier - commanding the Brigade ...
The rest of the War
He was captured at Gettysburg, PA on 3 July 1863 and in the prison at Fort Delaware by 7 July.
Making his escape from Ft Delaware, he passed through parts of Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland in the disguise of a citizen, arriving safely in Richmond.He was granted a furlough home in September 1863. By then a Sergeant, he was appointed Junior 2nd Lieutenant on 1 April 1864, but was sick in the CSA General Hospital in Charlottesville, VA from 26 April to 4 May. He was severely wounded in the left leg in the Wilderness, VA on 6 May 1864. He was promoted to (Senior) 2nd Lieutenant on 16 June 1864 and was surrendered and paroled at Appomattox Court House, VA on 9 April 1865.
References & notes
Service information from Davis1 and his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3; the quotes above from a 3 March 1864 letter to CS Adjutant General Cooper from Captain McLaurin recommending Ford for a commission, among Ford's CSRs. Personal details from family genealogists, with his death information from Val C. Giles in the Confederate Veteran;3 Giles also described him as "full of romance, poetry, and song."
He married Bettie Elgin in Travis County, TX in January 1870 and they had a son William F Ford, Jr. (1872-1895).
More on the Web
In March 1865 he applied for War Department authority to raise and command a "regiment of negro troops" for Confederate service (it was rejected). See more about this in a post on the blog.
c. 1843; Austin, TX
1875; in TX
1 Davis, Rev. Nicholas A., The Campaign from Texas to Maryland, Houston: Telegraph Book and Job Establishment, 1863, pp. 150 - 152 [AotW citation 1667]
2 US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, Record Group No. 109 (War Department Collection of Confederate Records), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927 [AotW citation 26775]
3 United Confederate Veterans, and United Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans, Confederate Veteran Magazine (1893-1932), 1893-01-00, Vol. 26, No. 1, January 1918, pg. 21 [AotW citation 26777]