Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BARKSDALE, William, soldier, born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, 21 August 1821; died at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 2 July 1863. He was educated at Nashville University, studied law in Columbus, Bliss., and was admitted to the bar before he was of age. He soon became a successful practitioner, and was prominent as an advocate of state rights. He became editor of the Columbus "Democrat," and ably set forth his political views in its columns. His first military experience was as a member of the non-commissioned staff of the 2d Mississippi volunteers in the Mexican war. In 1851 he served as a member of the state convention held to consider the compromise measures then before the country. Two years afterward he was elected to congress, and at once became prominent among the pro-slavery democrats. When Preston S. Brooks made his assault upon Charles Sumner in the senate chamber, Mr. Barksdale was present, and prevented the interference of bystanders. When his state seceded he left his seat in congress and accepted the command of the 13th regiment of Mississippi volunteers, participated in the campaigns of Virginia, and rose to the rank of brigadier in the confederate service. He commanded the 3d brigade of Early's division, during the second day's fight at Gettysburg, and fell while leading his men in the assault on the national/eft.
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