Colonel (CSA), William Davie DeSaussure

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Colonel (CSA), William Davie DeSaussure's Geni Profile

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William Davie de Saussure

Death: July 02, 1863 (43) (killed in the Battle of Gettysburg)
Immediate Family:

Son of William Ford de Saussure, Senator and Sarah Jones DeSaussure
Husband of Mary Louise de Saussure
Brother of Henry Bolivar DeSaussure, Dr.; Sarah Jones Boykin; Allen Jones DeSaussure, Dr. and William DeSaussure

Managed by: Rick K de Saussure
Last Updated:

About Colonel (CSA), William Davie DeSaussure

Civil War Confederate Officer. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, he was an 1838 graduate of the South Carolina College. He afterwards practiced his profession as an attorney in his father's Columbia law office.

With the outbreak of war with Mexico, DeSaussure was appointed a captain in the Palmetto Regiment. It was the earliest opportunity for the citizen soldier to command men in combat, and he proved to be a competent officer who distinguished himself at Churubusco, a battle where he was wounded in action.

At this war's end, he returned a hero to Columbia to continue his career as a legal representative. He subsequently delved into South Carolina politics and successfully campaigned to become a State Representative of Richland District during the years 1848- 1851 and 1854-1855.

In was in 1855 that DeSaussure was commissioned a captain into the 1st United States Cavalry Regiment with an assignment to the western frontier where he battled against the Comanches and Kiowas while under the command of John Sedgwick.

In December 1860, South Carolina seceded from the United States, and on the happening of this occasion, for reasons satisfactory to him, DeSaussure resigned his commission in the United States Cavalry and remained loyal to his native state. His subsequent confirmation as colonel and commander of the 15th South Carolina Infantry is dated December 24, 1861. As he did in the Mexican War, the South Carolinian would display his aptitude to command men during the American Civil War. Following their acceptance into Confederate service, Colonel DeSaussure led the 15th SC through the battles of Port Royal Sound, South Mountain, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

In the summer of 1862, the 15th SC was assigned to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, specifically, the brigade commanded by Joseph Brevard Kershaw. On July 2, 1863, the second day of the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Kershaw's Brigade, consisting of the 3rd South Carolina Battalion and the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th and 15th infantry regiments, was a major component in the Confederate's effort to assail the Union's left flank. With the day's fighting in progress, the 15th SC became detached, remaining behind the other regiments of Kerhaw's Brigade as they moved forward. Last but not least, DeSaussure's South Carolinians, still separated and independent from Kershaw, entered the mounting seesaw battle on the right flank of Georgians led by Paul Jones Semmes. Advancing "at the head of his regiment", Colonel DeSaussure was instantly killed by a gunshot to the chest during a counter-charge against a Union position in the Rose Woods.

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Colonel (CSA), William Davie DeSaussure's Timeline