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Confederate General William Lewis Cabell

Item CON-10213
Price: $325.00


Brigadier-General William L. Cabell was born in Danville, Va.,
January 1, 1827, the third child of Gen. Benjamin W. S. and Sarah
Eppes Cabell, who lived to see seven sons and two daughters
grown. Six sons held prominent positions in the Confederate
army. The other, Dr. Powhatan Cabell, died from the effect of an
arrow wound received in Florida just before the Confederate war

General Cabell was graduated at the military academy at West
Point in 1850, entered the United States army as second
lieutenant, and was assigned to the Seventh infantry. In June,
1855, he was promoted to first lieutenant and made regimental
quartermaster of that regiment. In March, 1858, he was promoted
to captain in the quartermaster department and assigned to the
staff of Gen. Persifer F. Smith, then in command of the Utah

When the war became inevitable, Captain Cabell repaired to Fort
Smith, Ark., and from there went to Little Rock and offered his
services to the governor of the State. On receipt of a telegram
from President Davis he went to Montgomery, Ala., then the
Confederate capital, where he found the acceptance of his
resignation from the United States army, signed by President

He was at once commissioned major, Confederate States army, and
under orders from President Davis left on April 21st for Richmond
to organize the quartermaster, commissary and ordnance
departments. Later he was sent to Manassas to report to General
Beauregard as chief quartermaster of the army of the Potomac.

After Gen. Joseph E. Johnston assumed command, Major Cabell
served on his staff until January 15, 1862, when he was ordered
to report to Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, by whom he was assigned
to General Van Dorn, with headquarters then at Jacksonport, Ark.
He was next promoted to the rank of brigadier general and put in
Command of all the troops on White river, Ark., where he held the
enemy in check until after the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, March
7th and 8th.

After that battle the army was transferred to the east side of
the Mississippi. The removal of this army, which included
Price's Missouri and McCulloch's Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas
troops, and his own command, devolved on General Cabell, and was
performed within a single week from points along White river.
Van Dorn's army proceeded, after reaching Memphis, to Corinth,
and General Cabell was assigned to a Texas brigade with an
Arkansas regiment attached.

He led this brigade in several engagements around Corinth, and
commanded the rear of the army on the retreat from Corinth to
Tupelo. After Bragg had moved into Tennessee, Cabell was
transferred to an Arkansas brigade, which he commanded in the
battles of Iuka and Saltillo in September, at Corinth on October
2 and 3, 1862, and at Hatchie Bridge on the 4th.

He was wounded leading the charge of his brigade on the
breastworks at Corinth and also at Hatchie Bridge, which disabled
him for duty in the field. What was left of his command was
temporarily assigned to the First Missouri brigade under General
Bowen, and he was ordered to the Trans-Mississippi department to
recover from his wounds and inspect the staff departments of that

When his strength was sufficiently restored he was, in February,
1863, put in command of northwest Arkansas, with instructions to
augment his forces by recruits from every part of the State. In
this he was very successful, organizing one of the largest
cavalry brigades west of the Mississippi, which he thereafter
commanded in more than twenty battles.

He took a prominent part in the engagements at Poison Spring and
Marks' Mills, in April, 1864, commanding two brigades of Fagan's
division. In his report of the campaign ending at Jenkins'
Ferry, General Marmaduke wrote that, "To speak of the quick
perception and foresight or the reckless bravery of Shelby, the
elan and chivalrous bearing of Cabell, inspiring all who looked
upon him, or the perseverance, untiring energy and steady courage
of Greene, would be telling a twice-told tale."

During the raid into Missouri under General Price he was captured
in battle near the Little Osage river, October 25, 1864, and was
taken to Johnson's island, Lake Erie, and later to Fort Warren,
near Boston, and held until August 28, 1865. General Cabell is
now a resident of Dallas, Tex., and holds the rank of lieutenant-
general United Confederate Veterans, commanding the Trans-
Mississippi department.

His wife, the daughter of Maj. Elias Rector, of Arkansas, is a
woman of great intelligence and courage, and noted for her ready
wit. During the war she followed her husband and did much to
relieve the sick and wounded.

Source: Confederate Military History, vol. XIV, p. 392