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 William Alexander Gregory (1837-1904)

 Battle - Scarred Confederate Veteran's Grave Memorialized 99 Years After His Death.

Submitted by: Daniel O'dell Gregory
© 2003

William Alexander Gregory (1837-1904), lifetime resident of Sumner County, was honored with a military marker at the Gregory Cemetery in Westmoreland, Tennessee 99 years after his death. William was the oldest child of John D. Gregory and Sarah Harper Gregory. William along with his father, John D., and his younger brother, John B., all joined Confederate Infantry Regiments. The father John D. died in 1861 while his outfit was camped at Bowling Green, Kentucky. John B. was seriously wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and was honorably discharged. William was permanently wounded at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky but he served until the end of the war. In July of 1861 William enlisted in Capt. John A. Baskerville's company which was composed of Sumner County men. In August of that year at Camp Trousdale in Sumner County this outfit became Company E of the 24th Tennessee Confederate Infantry. The 24th participated in the occupation of and retreat from Bowling Green, Kentucky as well as the battles of Shiloh (April 6 -7, 1862) and Perryville (October 8, 1862). At this latter battle William was shot through the left foot by a Union minnie ball and was carried off the field by Sumner Co. comrade, T. J. Moncrief. He was left at the hospital when the Confederate Army left Kentucky. He was captured by the Federals in May of 1863 in Mercer County, Kentucky as he tried to hobble back to his army. He spent 3 months as a prisoner of war in various camps in Ohio. After his exchange he served the Confederacy in Georgia as a train nurse. He surrendered on May 9, 1865 in Lithonia, GA and he took the oath of allegiance to the US govt. on June 12, 1865 in Nashville. 26 years later he was married with five children. In August of 1891 he was one of the first to apply for a Confederate pension from the state of Tennessee. A surgeon reported that William's left leg and hip had perished away and was not 1/2 the size of his right leg. William owned no land and a young boy of his did all the farm work and was not able to go to school. T. J. Moncrief was one of the witnesses to the application. William Hall, the assistant cashier at the First National Bank in Gallatin, wrote in his behalf "he came home among the very last and worked in my father's farm with us when I was a boy. Even then his wounded foot gave him so much trouble that he was laid up with it for days at a time. It is near no foot as a man could have. He is an illiterate man, can neither read nor write, but a man of good sense and remarkable memory." Charles Bryan, agent on the Chesapeake and Nashville Railroad Co., wrote to John P. Hickman, chairman of the pension board, "Do what you can for him John and oblige your friend. I know him and know he is worthy". William received the pension for the rest of his life and as the amount was small he was still property less when he died on August 25, 1904. Through the coordination of Daniel Gregory and Linda Carpenter a military marker was ordered for William. The marker was set on October 20, 2003 by Daniel Gregory and his grandfather Flavil Gregory. Direct descendants of William - Douglas Gregory, Mary Frances Gregory, and Annie Lois Wix helped in the process. Also in attendance were Mayzell Ragland, Mamie Ruth Gregory, Lauren Gregory, and Ford Wix.

The father, John D. Gregory, enlisted as a Private in Company B of the 18th Tennessee Confederate Infantry Regiment which was composed of men from Sumner and Davidson counties. He died in 1861 in Bowling Green, Kentucky when the Army was camped there, family legend says he was accidentally scalded to death. His exact burial site is not known but the with the help of Mr. Stephen Lynn King, a Kentucky Sons of Confederate Veterans representative, a marker was placed in the Confederate Section of the Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky.

The brother, John B. Gregory, enlisted as a Priave in Company F of the 6th Kentucky Confederate Infantry Regiment, which was part of Kentucky's famous "Orphan Brigade". He was seriously wounded at the Battle of Shiloh and was honorably discharged. John B. is buried at the Sulphur Springs Cemetery in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky. Through the efforts of Mr. Billy Byrd, Director of the Octagon Hall, an application for a military marker for John B. has been ordered.

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