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W. Barksdale

W. Barksdale

Confederate (CSA)

Brigadier General

William Barksdale

(1821 - 1863)

Home State: Mississippi

Education: University of Nashville

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Barksdale's Brigade


see his Battle Report

Before Sharpsburg

He had served in the US Army in the Mexican War (1846-48) and was a lawyer, editor, and US Congressman before the Civil War. In March 1861 he resigned his Congressional seat and was appointed Quartermaster General of the Mississippi Army, then Colonel of the 13th Mississippi Infantry. He led them at First Manassas in July 1861, and on the Peninsula campaign of 1862. In August 1862 he was promoted to Brigadier General.

On the Campaign

He led his Brigade in McLaws' Division which was moved up from Lee's reserve early in the morning of 17 September 1862 at Sharpsburg to reinforce Jackson near the Dunker Church. He was in the thick of the fighting there and led from the front.

The rest of the War

He continued in command of his brigade at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, where he was mortally wounded and captured in the 2 July 1863 assault on the Federal left flank at the Devil's Den and Little Round Top. He died nearby the next day.

References & notes

His service and bio basics from Warner.1 His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph at the National Archives.


08/21/1821; Smyrna, TN


07/03/1863; Gettysburg, PA; burial in Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, MS


1   Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders, Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1959, pp. 16-17  [AotW citation 29551]