Thursday, May 1, 2014

To The Confederacy, Before Leaving The Union

Confederate Brigadier General William Stephen Walker resigned his captain’s commission with the 1st United States Cavalry May 1st 1861.

William Stephen Walker was born April 13th 1822 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  He was raised by an uncle; Robert J Walker, in Mississippi and Washington, DC, where that uncle served as the Secretary of the Treasury for President James K Polk.  Walker received his education in private schools.  At the start of the Mexican American War he was appointed to First Lieutenant, and assigned to the 1st United States Voltiguers.  For his action at the Battle of Chapultepec, Walker received a brevet to Captain.  He was discharge from service following the end of the war August 31st 1848.  Walker returned to military service March 3rd 1855 becoming a Captain in the 1st United States Cavalry.

When the Civil War started, Walker resigned his commission with the United States Army on May 1st 1861, having received a Captaincy in the Confederate Army on March 16th 1861.  He started as a mustering officer, but by November 5th 1861 he was serving as the aide-de-camp to General Robert E Lee, and from December 1861 to March 1862 as the inspector general for the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and East Florida.  With a promotion to Colonel he took part in the Battle of Pocotaligo.  Walker was promoted to Brigadier General October 22nd 1862.  He was wounded in the left arm and the bone in his lower right leg was shattered during the Battle of Ware Bottom Church, a part of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign.  He was captured and taken to Fort Monroe where Union Doctor John J Craven amputated his right foot.  He was exchanged October 29th 1864.  Walker served out the war at Weldon, North Carolina.  He was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1st 1865.

After the war ended Walker moved to Georgia.  He died June 7th 1899 in Atlanta, Georgia and is buried in the Oakland Cemetery.

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