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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MAHONE, William, senator, born in Southampton county, Virginia, 1 December, 1826. He was graduated at Virginia military institute in 1847, and until the beginning of the civil war engaged in engineering, and was the constructor of the Norfolk and Petersburg railroad. He joined the Confederate army in 1861, took part in the capture of Norfolk navy-yard in April of that year, raised and commanded the 6th Virginia regiment, was engaged in most of the battles of the peninsular campaign, those on the Rappahannock, and those around Petersburg, where he won the sobriquet of the "hero of the Crater," and was throughout his career noted as a fighting commander. He was commissioned brigadier-general in March, 1864, and major-general in August of the same year. He subsequently led a division in Ambrose P. Hill's corps, and at Lee's surrender was at Bermuda Hundred. At the close of the war he returned to engineering, and became president of the Norfolk and Tennessee railroad, he also engaged in politics, was the leader of the movement that elected Gilbert C. Walker governor o[ Virginia, and, after failing to secure the nomination for that office in 1878, organized and became the leader of the Readjuster party, which advocated conditional repudiation of the state debt. He was elected United States senator in 1880, served till March, 1887, and was defeated at the next election.
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