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Confederate General William Brimage Bate

Item CON-10206
Price: $150.00


William B. Bate

He was a staunch supporter of secession in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Following the Battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861, Bate enlisted in a private company in Gallatin, and was elected as its captain. In early May, after Tennessee aligned with the Confederacy, Bate was elected colonel of the 2nd Tennessee Infantry. This unit was quickly dispatched to Virginia, where it was among the forces tasked with guarding the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. Bate was present at the Battle of Aquia Creek on May 30, 1861. At the First Battle of Bull Run (First Battle of Manassas) in July 1861, Bate was in the reserve brigade of Theophilus Holmes in the Confederate Army of the Potomac.
Bate's unit remained on the Potomac River until February 1862, when, at his request, his unit was transferred to the Western Theater. The 2nd Tennessee was placed under Albert Sidney Johnston's Army of Mississippi, which was conducting operations in the Corinth area. Bate's unit marched north with the Army of Mississippi in its attempt to check Ulysses S. Grant's advance at the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862. Bate was wounded severely in the leg during the first day's fighting, and an Army surgeon told him it would be necessary to amputate his leg to save his life. Bate drew his pistol, threatening to shoot the surgeon, and kept his leg. Although he survived, he was incapacitated for several months, and walked with a limp the rest of his life. Several of Bate's relatives were killed at Shiloh, and his horse was shot out from under him.
After spending several months recovering in Columbus, Mississippi, Bate was promoted to brigadier general on October 2, 1862. He was initially given tasks away from the frontlines in North Alabama, but when he demanded a return to action, General Braxton Bragg created an infantry brigade for him to command in the Army of Tennessee. He took part in the Tullahoma Campaign, and saw action at the Battle of Hoover's Gapin June 1863. During this period, Tennessee's Confederate leaders offered Bate the gubernatorial nomination to replace term-limited governor Isham G. Harris, but Bate declined, preferring to stay on the frontlines.

At the Battle of Chickamauga, Bate engaged in a skirmish with enemy forces that opened the fighting on the evening of September 18, 1863. In the intense fighting that took place on the following day, three of his horses were shot out from under him. During the reorganization of the Army of Tennessee after this battle, Bate was given command of John C. Breckinridge's division (Breckinridge had been promoted to Corps commander). Bate commanded this division at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in November 1863.
As a result of his service in the Chattanooga Campaign, Bate was promoted to major general on February 24, 1864. That summer, his division took part in the Atlanta Campaign, and saw action at the battles of Resaca, New Hope Church, Kennesaw Mountain, and Peachtree Creek, as well as the main Battle of Atlanta on July 22. At the Battle of Utoy Creek on August 6, Bate used a deception plan that foiled the main Union attack. He was shot in the knee in a skirmish at Willis' Grist Mill near Atlanta on August 10, and was bedridden in Barnesville, Georgia, for several weeks.

Bate rejoined his division in time to take part in General John B. Hood's invasion of Tennessee in late 1864. At the Battle of Franklin on November 30, he lost nearly 20% of his division, and his horse was again shot out from under him. He commanded General Benjamin F. Cheatham's right flank at the Battle of Nashville two weeks later.

Bate's division remained with Cheatham's Corps during the 1865 Carolinas Campaign, during which he saw action at the Battle of Bentonville in March. Bate and his men surrendered at Bennett Place near Greensboro, North Carolina. During the war, he was wounded three times and had six horses shot and killed beneath him.

Source: Wikipedia