|Thomas R. Williams|
Civil War General Thomas Williams (1815-1862)
who died in the Battle of Baton Rouge
|Born||January 16, 1815|
Albany, New York
|Died|| August 5, 1862 47) (aged|
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Place of burial||Elmwood Cemetery Detroit, Michigan|
|Allegiance|| United States of America |
|Service/|| United States Army |
|Years of service||1832, 1837 - 1862|
|Unit||Department of the Gulf|
|Commands held||Williams' Brigade|
|Battles/wars|| Black Hawk War |
Second Seminole War
American Civil War
*Occupation of New Orleans
*Battle of Baton Rouge †
|Other work||career soldier|
Thomas R. Williams (January 16, 1815 – August 5, 1862) was an antebellum United States Army officer and a brigadier general in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was killed as he commanded the Union troops at the Battle of Baton Rouge.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
In the United States Armed Forces, brigadier general is a one-star general officer with the pay grade of O-7 in the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. The rank of brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed services. The NATO equivalent is OF-6.
During the American Civil War, the Union Army referred to the United States Army, the land force that fought to preserve the Union of the collective states. Also known as the Federal Army, it proved essential to the preservation of the United States of America as a working, viable republic.
Williams was born in 1815 in Albany, New York. [ citation needed ] His father married his cousin, Mary Mott, of one of Albany's leading families. Williams was the fifth of nine surviving children.His father was General John R. Williams, the first Mayor of Detroit and prominent military figure in Michigan.
Albany is the capital of the U.S. state of New York and the seat of Albany County. Albany is located on the west bank of the Hudson River approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of its confluence with the Mohawk River and approximately 135 miles (220 km) north of New York City.
John R. Williams was an American soldier, merchant, and politician who is most well known for serving as the first mayor of Detroit, Michigan, after the city’s reincorporation. In total, he served as Detroit's mayor for five other terms. He also was a brigadier general in the United States Army during the Black Hawk War.
Williams' grandfather, Thomas Williams, settled in Detroit in 1765 and the Williams family remained there from that time.Prior to Detroit, the Williams family had settled in Albany, New York in 1690.
Thomas Williams, originally from Albany, New York, settled in Detroit, Michigan in 1765. He married Cecile Chapeau from a prominent French-Canadian family that had settled in Michigan in 1710. Williams was a merchant, landowner, and was active in civic and political affairs. Goods were transported to Detroit from Albany via canoe, which could take a number of months for a round-trip. He petitioned for equitable opportunities to engage in trade at Fort Niagara and Detroit. In his role as justice of the peace, he was charged to uphold the law and punish those who were deemed to have broken the law. As notary, he executed legal documents for the settlement. He was also town crier and took the 1782 census. He married Cecile Campeau from a prominent family of French heritage who had come to Michigan about 1710. Cecile's brother, Joseph, was the state's first millionaire. Their son, John R. Williams, was the first mayor of Detroit.
He began his military service in 1832 as a private in an infantry company during the Black Hawk War, serving as a trumpeter under his father's command.
A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank.
Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and tank forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, and typically bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress.
The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict between the United States and Native Americans led by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of Sauks, Meskwakis, and Kickapoos, known as the "British Band", crossed the Mississippi River, into the U.S. state of Illinois, from Iowa Indian Territory in April 1832. Black Hawk's motives were ambiguous, but he was apparently hoping to avoid bloodshed while resettling on tribal land that had been ceded to the United States in the disputed 1804 Treaty of St. Louis.
The following year, Williams received an appointment to attend the United States Military Academy, then graduated in the Class of 1837 and he also taught mathematics at West Point in 1844.He was breveted as a second lieutenant of the 4th U. S. Artillery. He later served in the Seminole Wars as a first Lieutenant and Assistant Commissary of Substance. Williams served in the Mexican War and was brevetted as a captain on August 20, 1847. He was brevetted as a major on September 13, 1847, for "meritorious service" in the war.
The United States Military Academy (USMA), also known as West Point, Army, Army West Point, The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. It was originally established as a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River with a scenic view, 50 miles (80 km) north of New York City. It is one of the four U.S. military service academies, and one of the five U.S. service academies.
In many of the world's military establishments, a brevet was a warrant giving a commissioned officer a higher rank title as a reward for gallantry or meritorious conduct but without conferring the authority, precedence, or pay of real rank. An officer so promoted was referred to as being brevetted. The promotion would be noted in the officer's title.
The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole, a Native American tribe that formed in Florida in the early 18th century, and the United States Army. Both in human and monetary terms, the Seminole Wars were the longest and most expensive of the Indian Wars in United States history.
Following the Mexican War, Williams was promoted to full captain and posted to Mackinac Island, Michigan, where he met and married Mary Neosho Bailey,the daughter of Dr. Joseph Bailey, who served in the U.S. Army. Her Dutch ancestors were from the Hudson River Valley area and New England.
Mackinac Island is a city in Mackinac County in the U.S. state of Michigan. In the 2010 census, the city had a permanent population of 492, although there are thousands of seasonal workers and tourists during the summer months.
The Hudson Valley comprises the valley of the Hudson River and its adjacent communities in the U.S. state of New York, from the cities of Albany and Troy southward to Yonkers in Westchester County. Depending upon the definition delineating its boundaries, the Hudson Valley encompasses a growing metropolis which is home to between 3 and 3.5 million residents centered along the north-south axis of the Hudson River.
Williams was later assigned to posts in Florida and the Utah Territory. By the late 1850s, he was serving as an instructor at the Artillery School at Fort Monroe in Virginia.
Shortly after the Civil War began, Williams was promoted to major in the 5th U. S. Artillery on May 14, 1861. On September 28, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln promoted Williams to Brigadier General of U. S. Volunteers, to rank from that date and on February 3, 1862, the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination.He was posted to the command of a brigade on the Potomac River, and was later posted to Fort Hatteras, North Carolina. He then was assigned to Maj. Gen. Benjamin Butler's command in the land operations against New Orleans, Louisiana. Williams and his brigade were assigned the task of occupying Baton Rouge, Louisiana. On May 29, General Williams arrived in the city with six regiments of infantry, two artillery batteries, and a troop of cavalry.
During the early summer, Williams' 3,000-man infantry brigade began work on what later became known as Grant's Canal, cutting a new channel across the base of De Soto Point on the west side of the Mississippi River across from Vicksburg, Mississippi. The purpose of the canal was to develop a channel for navigation that would enable gunboats and transports to bypass the Confederate batteries at Vicksburg.
In August 1862, Confederate forces under the command of General John C. Breckinridge attacked the Union defenses of Baton Rouge in an effort to retake the state′s capital. In the resulting engagement, the Battle of Baton Rouge, Williams was killed by a gunshot wound to his chest on 5 August 1862 while leading what proved to be the successful defense of the city.It was rumored that it was friendly fire.
Williams's body was aboard the transport steamer Whiteman or Lewis Whitman (sources differ) along with other dead and wounded from the Battle of Baton Rouge when the steamer sank in the Mississippi River near Donaldsonville, Louisiana, with the loss of all hands after colliding with the United States Navy sloop-of-war USS Oneida on 7 August 1862. Williams's body was recovered, and he was buried in the family plot in Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, Michigan.
Williams had two sons, John R. Williams and Gershom Mott Williams, and a daughter named Mary Josepha Williams.Gershom was the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Marquette and he published General Williams' personal papers. Josepha, was a physician and like her mother, Mary Neosho WIlliams, a significant landowner in Evergreen, Colorado. She and Dr. Madeline Marquette founded the Marquette-Williams Sanitarium, a medical and surgical center, in Denver, Colorado in 1888. In 1892, they established a nursing school in conjunction with the sanitarium. Josepha was married in 1896 to Canon Charles Winfred Douglas, an Episcopalian priest and expert in plainsong music.
Biographical information about John R. Williams and other family members.
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