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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HAYS, William, soldier, born in Richmond, Virginia. in 1819; died in Fort Independence, Boston harbor, 7 February, 1875. He was graduated at the United States military academy in 1840, and promoted 1st lieutenant in 1847, captain in 1853, and major in 1863. He served throughout the Mexican war witch the light-artillery. He was wounded at Molino del Rey, and brevetted captain and major. From 1853 till 1854 he was engaged in the Seminole Indian wars, and was on frontier duty in 1856-'60. He commanded a brigade of horse-artillery in 1861-'2 in the Army of the Potomac, participating in the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg, and was appointed brigadier-general of volunteers in November, 1862. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Chancellorsville, 6 May, 1863, rejoined the army at Gettysburg, and in November was appointed provost-marshal of the southern district of New York. At the expiration of his term in February, 1865, he rejoined his regiment at Petersburg, and served with the 2d corps, and in command of the reserve artillery until the close of the war, when he was brevetted brigadier-general in the regular army for gallant conduct. He was mustered out of volunteer service in 1866 with the rank of major, and served on various posts, commanding Fort Independence from 29 April, 1873, till his death.
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