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W. Nelson

W. Nelson

Confederate (CSA)


William Nelson


(1808 - 1892)

Home State: Virginia

Command Billet: Artillery Battalion Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: Nelson's Artillery Battalion

Before Sharpsburg

From one of the First Families of Virginia, he was a planter in Hanover County, VA and was a member of the State legislature in 1857-58. He was commissioned Captain of the Hanover Light Artillery in April 1861, but was not reelected in the reorganization of April 1862. He was appointed Major, Confederate States Artillery on 26 May 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded a battalion of artillery in Maryland.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in March 1863 and his Battalion at Gettysburg in July 1863 consisted of Kirkpatrick's, Massie's, and Milledge's batteries. He was promoted to Colonel in February 1865.

After the War

He returned to farming at Oakland Plantation near Montpelier in Hanover County. He never married.

References & notes

His service from Clemens.1 Personal details including his nickname from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from an etching in Wise.2

He was a cousin of William Nelson Pendleton, General Lee's long-time Chief of Artillery.


12/19/1808; Yorktown, VA


04/17/1892; Hanover County, VA; burial in Fork Episcopal Church Cemetery, Doswell, VA


1   Carman, Ezra Ayers, and Dr. Thomas G. Clemens, editor, The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, 3 volumes, El Dorado Hills (CA): Savas Beatie, 2010-17, Vol. 3. pg. 265  [AotW citation 25833]

2   Wise, Jennings Cropper, The Long Arm of Lee; or, The History of the Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia ..., 2 Vols., Lynchburg: JP Bell Company, 1915, Vol. 2, opp. pg. 368  [AotW citation 25834]