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Confederate (CSV)


William Anderson Laws

(c. 1837 - 1862)

Home State: North Carolina

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 23rd North Carolina Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

Age 25, from Granville County, he mustered as Private, Company E, 23rd North Carolina Infantry on 8 July 1862 in Wake County.

On the Campaign

He was mortally wounded by gunshot in the groin and captured in action at Fox's Gap on South Mountain on 14 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was first treated at a hospital in Middletown, MD. He was then transferred and admitted to US Army Hospital #1 in Frederick, MD on 22 October 1862. By then he had bedsores which exposed his spine, suffered from chronic diarrhea, and had lost a lot of weight.

On 28 October, in preparation for surgery to remove fragments from his right ischium (bone forming the base of the pelvis) he was administered chloroform by handkerchief, as was usual. About a minute later he took several rapid breaths and then ceased breathing altogether. His pulse ceased shortly after. Artificial respiration was attempted for about 20 minutes with no results. An autopsy found no systemic problems, but noted that the bullet was still embedded in his pelvis [image].

References & notes

Burial information from Pruett, 1 who has him as W. E. Lans. Service from the Roster 2 via the Historical Data Systems database. Medical details from the MSHWR 3 [page image from NIH] and the Patient List.4 His gravesite is on Findagrave. Farino and Pearcey's Confederate Soldiers Buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery (2010) and his recent stone have him as Anderson Laws.

He was treated in Frederick by Dr Redfern Davies, MRCS, a volunteer surgeon from Birmingham, England, who specialized in abdominal injury and disease.


c. 1837


10/28/1862; Frederick, MD; burial in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, MD


1   Pruett, Samuel, and Poffenberger & Good, Greg Farino and Western Maryland Regional Library (WMRL), Washington Confederate Cemetery, possible burials, Hagerstown (MD): WHILBR, 2010  [AotW citation 4418]

2   Manarin, Louis H., and Weymouth Tyree Jordan, Matthew M Brown, Michael W Coffey, North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865 : A Roster, 20 Volumes +, Raleigh: North Carolina State Department of Archives and History, 1966-  [AotW citation 19301]

3   Barnes, Joseph K., and US Army, Office of the Surgeon General, The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 6 books, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1870, Vol. 2, Part 2, pg. 242  [AotW citation 19302]

4   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <>, Source page: patient #5.275  [AotW citation 19303]