William W. Mackall

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William W. Mackall
Born (1817-01-18)January 18, 1817
Cecil County, Maryland
Died August 12, 1891(1891-08-12) (aged 74)
Langley, Virginia
Buried at McLean, Virginia
Allegiance  United States of America
 Confederate States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
 Confederate States Army
Years of service 1837 — 1861 (USA)
1861 — 1865 (CSA)
Rank Union army maj rank insignia.jpg Brevet Major (USA)
Confederate States of America General.png Brigadier General (CSA)
Battles/wars Mexican-American War
American Civil War

William Whann Mackall (January 18, 1817 – August 12, 1891) was a Seminole Wars veteran, Mexican-American War veteran and Confederate States Army brigadier general during the American Civil War. He was a United States Army officer for 24 years before he resigned his commission in order to join the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he was a farmer in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Early life[edit]

William W. Mackall was born on January 18, 1817 in Cecil County, Maryland,[1][2] growing up in Childs.[3] He graduated 8th of 50 cadets in the United States Military Academy class of 1837.[1][2][4] Mackall married the sister of later Confederate Brigadier General Gilbert Moxley Sorrel.[1]

After his graduation from West Point, Mackall was commissioned a second lieutenant of the U.S. Army's 1st Regiment of Artillery.[1] He was promoted to first lieutenant on July 9, 1838.[1] Mackall was ambushed and severely wounded at River Inlet, Florida on February 11, 1839 during the Second Seminole War.[1][2][5] He was regimental adjutant between January 20, 1840 and August 31, 1841.[1]

Mackall was appointed brevet captain and brevet major for gallantry during the Mexican-American War where he fought in the battles of Monterey, Contreras, Churubusco and Chapultepec.[1] He served as an assistant adjutant general during the war.[1] Mackall was wounded in the arm at the Battle of Chapultepec on September 13, 1847.[1] After the war, Mackall continued to serve as an assistant adjutant general[1] on the frontier, in the U.S. Army's Eastern Division and Department of the Pacific.[6] He held the position of assistant adjutant general in the Department of the Pacific on May 11, 1861 when he declined promotion to lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general.[1][2] Mackall resigned from the U.S. Army on July 3, 1861.[1][2]

American Civil War[edit]

William W. Mackall began his Confederate States Army service as a lieutenant colonel and assistant adjutant general on September 9, 1861 and was assigned to the Confederate Department Number Two on September 15, 1861.[1] He became assistant adjutant general on the staff of General Albert Sidney Johnston.[4][6] Mackall was promoted to brigadier general on March 6, 1862, to rank from February 27, 1862, through the influence of General P.G.T. Beauregard.[1][2][4][6] Mackall had become disillusioned with Johnston's performance and became a supporter of Beauregard.[4]

Mackall replaced Brigadier General John P. McCown as commander of Confederate defenses on Island Number Ten in the Mississippi River on March 15, 1862.[4] Soon thereafter, on April 7, 1862, Mackall was taken prisoner when the Union Army under Major General John Pope captured the island at the Battle of Island Number Ten.[1][2][6] Mackall was exchanged on August 15, 1862.[1] He then held a staff position as commissary of subsistence in the Department of East Tennessee between November 5, 1862 and December 8, 1862.[1] Mackall was in command of the Confederate Department of the Gulf for six days in December 1862.[1][4][5][7] Until mid-April, he served in command of the western part of the district after Major General Simon Bolivar Buckner was assigned to command the district and to fortify the defenses of Mobile, Alabama.[6]

Between April 17, 1863 and October 12, 1863, Mackall served in the Army of Tennessee as chief of staff to General Braxton Bragg, his classmate at West Point.[1][2][6] Mackall was relieved at his own request after the Battle of Chickamauga.[2][4][6] Then, he commanded a brigade in Major General John H. Forney's division in the Confederate Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana between October 16, 1863 and January 26, 1864.[1][5][8]

Between January 26, 1864 and August 24, 1864, Mackall served as chief of staff in the Army of Tennessee under General Joseph E. Johnston.[2][6] Mackall declined to serve with the Army of Tennessee when General John Bell Hood replaced General Johnston.[2] After the end of his service with the Army of Tennessee on August 24, 1864, Mackall was inactive at Macon, Georgia.[1][2] He was in command of Confederate forces in south Georgia between March 23, 1865 and April 20, 1865, when he was captured by Union troops at Macon, but he saw no active service during this time.[1][9] No record of his parole has been found.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

Mackall speculated in real estate and owned several farms in Fairfax County, Virginia after the war.[2][4] William W. Mackall died on August 12, 1891 at "Langley," one of his farms in Fairfax County.[1][2] He is buried at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church Cemetery, McLean, Virginia, on the site of "Lewinsville," another of his farms.[1][2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 359
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5. pp. 203-204
  3. ^ Pamela James Blumgard, ed., At the Head of the Bay: A Cultural and Architectural History of Cecil County, Maryland 329 (1996).
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Stanchak, John E. "Mackall, William Whann" in Historical Times Illustrated History of the Civil War, edited by Patricia L. Faust. New York: Harper & Row, 1986. ISBN 978-0-06-273116-6. p. 462
  5. ^ a b c Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 0-8160-1055-2. pp. 417-418
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X. First published New York, McKay, 1959. pp. 498-499
  7. ^ Boatner, 1959, p. 498 shows Mackall in charge of the entire district until February 1863.
  8. ^ Sifakis, 1988, p. 418 identifies this brigade as Louis Hébert's old brigade and states that paroled and exchanged prisoners from Vicksburg comprised the brigade.
  9. ^ Other sources such as Warner, Stanchak and Sifikas state that Mackall had no more assignments during the war. Eicher's reference to forces in south Georgia in the summary of Mackall's assignments may mean that Mackall merely was with the Confederate forces in south Georgia rather than formally in command of them.

References[edit]

  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: McKay, 1988. ISBN 0-8129-1726-X. First published New York, McKay, 1959.
  • Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Sifakis, Stewart. Who Was Who in the Civil War. New York: Facts On File, 1988. ISBN 0-8160-1055-2.
  • Stanchak, John E. "Mackall, William W." in Historical Times Illustrated History of the Civil War, edited by Patricia L. Faust. New York: Harper & Row, 1986. ISBN 978-0-06-273116-6.
  • Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.