Brig. Gen. William Lewis Cabell, (CSA)

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Brig. Gen. William Lewis Cabell, (CSA)'s Geni Profile

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Brig. Gen. William Lewis Cabell, (CSA)

Also Known As: "Old Tige"
Birthplace: Danville, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, United States
Death: February 21, 1911 (84)
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Maj. General Benjamin W.S. Cabell, (War of 1812) and Sarah Epes Cabell
Husband of Harriett Amanda Cabell
Father of Mayor Benjamin Elias Cabell; Katie Doswell Currie; William Lewis Cabell, Jr.; John Joseph Cabell; Lawrence DuVal Cabell and 1 other
Brother of Pocahontas Rebecca Hairston; Dr. John Roy Cabell; Virginia J. Cabell; Dr. Powhatan Bolling Cabell; Maj. Algernon S. Cabell, CSA and 4 others

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About Brig. Gen. William Lewis Cabell, (CSA)

William Lewis Cabell (January 1, 1827 – February 21, 1911) was a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War and later served as Mayor of Dallas, Texas.


William L. Cabell was born in Danville, Virginia. Six of Cabell's brothers also held prominent positions in the Confederate Army. One other brother died just prior to the Civil War from an arrow wound received in Florida. Cabell graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1850 and joined the United States Army as a second lieutenant with the 7th U.S. Infantry. In June 1855, he was promoted to first lieutenant and appointed as regimental quartermaster on the staff of General Persifor F. Smith.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Cabell returned to Little Rock, Arkansas, and offered his services to Governor Henry Massey Rector. In April 1861, he received a telegram from the Confederate States government and went to Richmond, Virginia, to assist in the establishment of the commissary, quartermaster, and ordnance departments for the Confederate military.

He was sent to Manassas, Virginia, to take the position of Quartermaster for the Confederate Army of the Potomac under General P.G.T. Beauregard. He served on Beauregard's staff and then on the staff of General Joseph E. Johnston until reassigned in January 1862.

After leaving Virginia, Cabell was assigned by General Albert Sidney Johnston to serve under General Earl Van Dorn, who was commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department. Cabell was promoted to brigadier general and placed in command of all Confederate troops on the White River, with his headquarters at Jacksonport, Arkansas. Soon after the Battle of Pea Ridge, Confederate forces were withdrawn from Arkansas and moved across the Mississippi River. Upon his arrival at Corinth, Mississippi, Cabell was given command of a Texas brigade with an Arkansas regiment attached. Cabell led this brigade in several engagements around Corinth.

Cabell was transferred to an Arkansas brigade, which he led in the Battle of Iuka and the Battle of Corinth. He was wounded leading a charge against the Union entrenchments at Corinth and again at the Battle of Hatchie's Bridge, which left him temporarily disabled and unfit for field command.

In February 1863, he was placed in command of northwestern Arkansas and successfully recruited and outfitted one of the largest cavalry brigades west of the Mississippi. Cabell led this brigade in over 20 engagements in the Trans-Mississippi Department including prominent roles at the Battle of Poison Spring and the Battle of Marks' Mills where he commanded two brigades under General James Fleming Fagan. Cabell was captured by Union forces in Missouri during Price's Raid on October 25, 1864, and was held as a prisoner of war at the Johnson's Island prison camp on Lake Erie and then at Fort Warren in Boston, Massachusetts.

After the war, Cabell returned to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he worked as a civil engineer and studied law at night. He was admitted to the Arkansas bar in 1868 and practiced law for a few years. In 1872, Cabell and his family moved to Dallas, Texas. In 1874, he was elected mayor of that city and served four terms at various times. During his tenure, he expanded rail access to the city, established sewer and electrical services, started a program of paving streets, and presided over a period of massive growth.

After leaving office, Cabell became Vice President of the Texas Trunk Railroad Company. In 1885, he was appointed U.S. Marshal and served in that capacity until 1889. During the Spanish-American War, at age 71, he offered his military services to the U.S. government.

Cabell also remained active in Confederate veterans affairs. He oversaw several large veterans reunions, assisted in establishing pensions, veterans homes, and Confederate cemeteries in Texas. He served as commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the United Confederate Veterans.

William Lewis Cabell died in Dallas and was buried there five days later after a heavily attended military parade.

Cabell's wife was the daughter of Major Elias Rector of Arkansas and served as a nurse during the Civil War. Grandson Charles P. Cabell became a four-star general in the United States Air Force as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence during the 1950s. Another grandson, Earle Cabell, was also mayor of Dallas, serving at the time of the Kennedy assassination.

Source: The Cabells and Their Kin by Alexander Brown pages 515-517 -

"...entered the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, in June, 1846, and graduated in 1850; entered the U.S.A. as second lieutenant 7th Infantry; promoted first lieutenant, June, 1855; promoted captain, March, 1858; served in the Utah expedition; at Fort Kearney; at Fort Arbuckle, Fort Cobb, etc. In March 1861, when was between the sections became inevitable, he resigned from the U.S.A., cast his lot with his people, entered the C.S.A., was commissioned as major, "and, under orders from President Davis, went on April 21 to Richmond, VA, to organize the quartermaster's, commissary, and ordnance departments." On June 1, 1861, he was ordered to Manassas as chief quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac, on Gen. Beauregard's staff. After the battles of July 18 and 21, he served on Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's staff until January 15, 1862, when he was transferred to the trans-Mississippi Department for service under Gen. Van Dorn; was soon promoted brigadier-general, and assigned to command of all the troops on White River. After the battle of Elk Horn, March 6 and 7, 1862, the trans-Mississippi army was transferred to the east side of the Mississippi River; the removal, being under the especial charge of Gen. Cabell, was performed within a single week. He continued in active service with this army, especially distinguishing himself in the battles of Iuka and Saltillo in September, at Corinth, October 2 and 3, and at Hatchie's Bridge, October 4. He was wounded while leading the celebrated charge of his brigade on the breastworks at Corinth, and again at Hatchie's Bridge, which disabled him from command for a time. Owing to his fighting qualities, he was called "Old Tiger" by his soldiers. While recuperating from his wounds, he was ordered to inspect the staff department of the trans-Mississippi army. When able to report for active duty, in February, 1863, he was placed in command of all the forces in northwest Arkansas, and succeeded in organizing one of the largest and finest brigades of cavalry west of the Mississippi. He commanded this noted brigade in 1863 and 1864, leading it in engagements almost too numerous to mention. On the raid into Missouri under Gen. Price , he was captured on October 24, 1864, taken to Johnson's Island in Lake Erie, and thence to Fort Warren, Boston harbor, where he was confined until August 28, 1865.

On being released, Gen. Cabell went to New York then to Austin, Texas, and then to Fort Smith, Ark.; studied law (as he had no other profession than a military one), and as soon as qualified, was licensed and began to practice his new profession. He was chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee in Arkansas, and chairman of the Arkansas delegation to the Baltimore convention which nominated Horace Greeley for the presidency.

In December, 1872, he removed to Dallas, Texas, and was elected mayor of that city in 1874, 1875, 1876, and 1882, He was a delegate from Texas to the conventions that nominated President Tilden and President Cleveland. During Cleveland's first administration he was United States marshal for Texas.

At the Confederate reunion, held at Chattanooga, Tenn., July 3, 1890, Gen. Cabell was elected lieutenant-general of the United Confederate Veterans, commanding the trans-Mississippi Department, which embraces all the country west of the Mississippi River."

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Brig. Gen. William Lewis Cabell, (CSA)'s Timeline

January 1, 1827
Danville, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, United States
November 18, 1858
Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States
January 6, 1861
September 9, 1867
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States
November 28, 1870
Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States
August 22, 1874
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States
January 3, 1879
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States
February 21, 1911
Age 84
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States