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William Tatum Wofford
June 28, 1824(1824-06-28) – May 22, 1884 (aged 59)
WTWofford.jpg
Place of birth Habersham County, Georgia
Place of death Cass Station, Georgia
Place of burial Cassville Cemetery, Cass Station, Georgia
Allegiance United States of America
Confederate States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Confederate States Army
Years of service 1847–48 (USA)
1861–65 (CSA)
Rank Captain (USA)
Brigadier General (CSA)
Battles/wars Mexican-American War
American Civil War
Other work planter, educator, politician

William Tatum Wofford (June 28, 1824 – May 22, 1884) was an officer during the Mexican-American War and a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.

Contents

Early life and career

Wofford was born in Habersham County, Georgia to William H. Wofford and Nancy M. Tatum. In 1844 he graduated from Franklin College, now part of the University of Georgia. Wofford first experienced military life in 1847 during the Mexican-American War, where he was a captain in the Georgia Mounted Volunteers. Wofford was mustered out of the volunteer service on July 12, 1848 and afterwards worked as a planter, served as a state legislator, and then became a lawyer. In 1852 he was editor of the Cassville Standard newspaper.[1][2]

Civil War service

Wofford had previously voted against secession, but offered his services to his state and the Confederate Army. He was appointed a colonel in the Georgia State Militia, then a captain in the 18th Georgia Infantry in April 1861. On the 25th of that month Wofford was promoted to colonel, and served in North Carolina and Virginia before being assigned to Gen. John Bell Hood's Texas Brigade.[1] He saw action at Yorktown, Eltham's Landing, and Seven Pines during the Peninsula Campaign. Wofford and the 18th also fought at Second Bull Run and Antietam, where he commanded the Texas Brigade.

In November 1862, Wofford and the 18th Georgia were transferred to the Georgia Brigade of General Thomas R. R. Cobb.[3] They fought under Cobb at the Battle of Fredericksburg in December, defending the famous stone wall at the base of Marye's Heights. Cobb was mortally wounded in the battle, and Wofford assumed command of his brigade and was promoted to brigadier general on January 17, 1863.[1] He led the brigade, now referred to as Wofford's Brigade, at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, where he followed William Barksdale's Mississippi brigade in the assault through the Peach Orchard late in the afternoon of July 2. There Wofford's men drove Union troops out of the Wheatfield but had to stop short of the new Union line near Little Round Top.

Traveling to Georgia with Longstreet's First Corps to reinforce the Army of Tennessee, he arrived on the field too late to participate in the Battle of Chickamauga. His whereabouts are unknown during Longstreet's siege of Knoxville, Tennessee.[4] Wofford fought in the Overland Campaign at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania, and was wounded in both battles. He left the Army of Northern Virginia before the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign and assumed command of the Subdistrict of Northern Georgia, of the District of Georgia, Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida on January 20, 1865, a post he held until he surrendered in Kingston, Georgia, and was paroled at Resaca, Georgia on May 2, 1865. Shortly afterwards Wofford was pardoned by the U.S. government on July 24.[1] He commanded the last significant group of Confederate soliders east of the Mississippi to surrender to Union troops.

Postbellum

After the war Wofford was a planter and active in the law, Democratic politics, and education.[5] As a delegate to the Georgia Constitutional Convention of 1877, he argued for the repeal of convict leasing, for Confederate veterans' benefits, and for African-American education. Many of his ideas appeared in the platform of the Populist Party a decade later.[6] He died in Cass Station, Ga. and is buried in nearby Cassville Cemetery.[7]

See also

References

  • Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Folsom, James Madison, Heroes and Martyrs of Georgia: Georgia's Record in the Revolution of 1861 Burke, Boykin & Company, 1864; Reprinted by Butternut and Blue, 1995, ISBN 0-935523-49-9.
  • Polley, J. B., Hood's Texas Brigade: Its Marches, Its Battles, Its Achievements, Morningside Bookshop, 1988, ISBN 0-89029-037-X.
  • Simpson, Harold B., Hood's Texas Brigade: Lee's Grenadier Guard, Texas Press, 1970, ISBN 1-56013-009-1.
  • Smith, Gerald J., "William Tatum Wofford", Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, Heidler, David S., and Heidler, Jeanne T., eds., W. W. Norton & Company, 2000, ISBN 0-393-04758-X.
  • Tagg, Larry, The Generals of Gettysburg, Savas Publishing, 1998, ISBN 1-882810-30-9.
  • Warner, Ezra, Generals in Gray, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959, ISBN 0807108235

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Eicher, p. 578.
  2. ^ Warner, p. 341
  3. ^ Eicher, pp. 578, 592.
  4. ^ Warner, p. 341 claims he was at Knoxville siege while Eicher, p.616 claims Col.S.Z. Ruff commanded the brigade
  5. ^ Warner, p. 344
  6. ^ Smith, p. 2142.
  7. ^ William T. Wofford at Find a Grave Retrieved on 2009-05-07
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