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Confederate (CSV)


William Herman Lessing

(1845 - 1910)

Home State: Texas

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Texas Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

About 17 years old, giving his occupation as stock raiser, he enlisted in Austin as a Private in Company B, 4th Texas Infantry on 13 March 1862.

On the Campaign

He was in action with his Company at Fox's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September and was "terribly wounded at Sharpsburg, a bullet passing through his lungs" on 17 September 1862, and captured there.

The rest of the War

He was briefly in US Army General Hospital #5 in Frederick, MD on 10 and 11 October, sent to Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, then transferred on 13 October to Fortress Monroe, VA for exchange. He was in hospitals in Richmond, VA to 8 (or 11) November, then absent on furlough to about 1 December 1863, when he was listed as absent without leave - "supposed to be disabled" - at Columbus, TX. In May of 1864 he was found unfit for field service by a medical board in Houston. He was paroled at Columbus, TX on 15 August 1865.

After the War

He was the publisher of the Columbus [TX] Weekly Times from 1869-70. In 1872 he was a lawyer in Columbus, TX in a partnership where the "German language [is] spoken in the office." By 1875 and to at least 1880 he was an attorney in San Saba, TX, and by 1881 he was District Attorney in San Angelo.

In 1888 he shot and killed bartender Michael Quinn in Big Spring, TX - apparently in a gambling dispute. I do not know the outcome of that case, but by 1893 and to at least 1900 he practiced law in Waco. He was elected Vice President of the Hood's Brigade Association in 1903.

References & notes

Service information from Davis1 and from his Compiled Service Records,2 via fold3. Frederick detail from the Patient List.3 Personal details from his obituary in the Confederate Veteran magazine (Vol. 19, pg. 82, 1911), his law firm's advertisement in the Colorado Citizen of 22 February 1872, family genealogists, and the US Census for 1880 and 1900. The medical board of 1864 recorded his birthplace as Germany. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Edith Eugenia Triplett (1853-1920) in June 1873 in Houston and they had 5 chidren.


1845; New Orleans, LA


02/22/1910; Terrell, TX; burial in Oakwood Cemetery, Waco, TX


1   Davis, Rev. Nicholas A., The Campaign from Texas to Maryland, Houston: Telegraph Book and Job Establishment, 1863, pp. 150 - 152  [AotW citation 1680]

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 26616]

3   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <>, Source page: patient #809  [AotW citation 26617]