Lt. Colonel William Byrd (CSA)

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Lt. Colonel William Byrd (CSA)'s Geni Profile

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William Byrd

Birthplace: Cottage Farm, Clarke, Virginia, United States
Death: April 03, 1898 (69)
Winchester, VA, United States
Place of Burial: Winchester, Winchester City, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Evelyn Byrd and Anne Byrd
Husband of Jane Merriweather Byrd
Father of Richard E. Byrd; Mary Armistead Byrd; Edward Byrd; Margaret Byrd and Ottway Byrd
Brother of Anne Byrd; Alfred Henry Byrd and George Harrison Byrd
Half brother of Mary Anne Kennon; Addison Byrd and William Otway Byrd

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About Lt. Colonel William Byrd (CSA)

William Byrd, lawyer, soldier, and politician, was born at Cottage Farm, Clarke County, Virginia, on September 9, 1828, the son of Richard Evelyn and Anne (Harrison) Byrd. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute on July 4, 1849, and afterward took a degree in law at the University of Virginia. By March 1853 he was practicing law in the Travis County, Texas, community of Webberville, and by 1854 was popular enough to be chosen orator at the annual Fourth of July barbecue. The Austin Texas State Gazette referred to him as "a young lawyer spoken of highly by his friends," and declared his address "to have been quite eloquent and credible to that young gentleman." A clipping from an unidentified newspaper in Byrd's scrapbook, now preserved at the Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas at Austin, quotes the 1854 speech in full. Its spread-eagle oratory praises the creed of the Young America movement and attacks the North for "tramping on the constitution" and for "substituting for the wisdom and virtue of their patriotic fathers, the fatuity and villainy of unprincipled fanatics deliberately [inaugurating] a series of legislative acts against slavery."

In August 1854 Byrd moved to Austin, where he formed a partnership with T. Scott Anderson. He was elected city treasurer and in 1857 ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature. He was a delegate to the Travis County convention that in June 1859 endorsed the nominations of the state convention for governor and lieutenant governor. In Austin on September 12, 1859, Byrd married Jennie Rivers of Colorado, Texas, the daughter of Robert Jones Rivers. They had nine children. When William Marshall returned to Mississippi in November 1860 to be with his ailing wife, Byrd became editor of the Texas State Gazette and in its pages in December called for a secession convention in Texas.

He was appointed adjutant general by Governor Edward Clark on May 11, 1861, and was responsible for putting the Confederate state of Texas on a war footing. In a series of general orders he provided for the recruiting of 11,000 volunteers into infantry companies. As "a well organized citizen soldiery is the strength of a free country," Byrd oversaw the formation of the new companies into battalions, regiments, and brigades at eleven new camps of instruction in various parts of the state. These were commanded by Augustus Buchel, Thomas Green, Hugh McLeod, Joseph L. Hogg, James H. Rogers, W. C. Young, W. H. Parsons, C. C. Herbert, M. F. Locke, R. M. Powell, and C. L. Cleveland. Each camp was to accommodate 1,000 recruits for a period of forty days, beginning on July 2, and was to be supplied with food by voluntary subscription from local citizens. This requisition Byrd reckoned at 45,000 pounds of flour, 37,000 pounds of beef, 7,500 pounds of bacon, 2,000 pounds of coffee, 2,400 pounds of sugar, 6 sacks of salt, and 1,600 pounds of soap per camp. "Our citizens will not be less cheerful in contributing to prepare our troops, to uphold our honor and liberties, than our Northern enemies in lavishing their gold, to hire mercenaries to enslave us," he opined.

Byrd served for a time as state ordnance officer during the fall of 1861 before being elected on November 26, 1861, as lieutenant colonel of Col. Edward Clark's Fourteenth Texas Infantry, a regiment that saw action in the Red River campaign as a component of Walker's Texas Division. Byrd, however, was detached from the regiment to command Fort DeRussy on the Red River, some three miles above Marksville, Louisiana. Capt. E. P. Petty described the fort as "a strong work and there are some fine guns there but it is incomplete. . . . When completed no gunboat will be able to pass and they can only be taken by land attack." The fort was garrisoned by some 400 soldiers detached from the regiments of Walker's division. On March 14, 1864, it was surrounded by Union troops and taken by bombardment and assault. Byrd was at first reported killed but was in fact taken prisoner. He was exchanged at Red River Landing, Louisiana, on July 22, 1864, returned to his regiment, and was stationed at Hempstead at the war's end. Thereafter he returned to Winchester, Virginia, to practice law. He died in May 1898. William Byrd was the grandfather of aviator and explorer Richard Byrd, Virginia governor Harry Byrd, and World War I hero Tom Byrd.


reference number 511382

Birth: Nov. 17, 1828 Death: Apr. 10, 1898

Confederate Officer, Lawyer and concerned citizen. William Byrd, son of Richard Evelyn Byrd and Anne Harrison, was born at his fathers home on 211 South Washington Street in Winchester, Virginia. He attended the Old Winchester Academy, and was a graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. After being admitted to the bar he formed a partnership with T. Scott Anderson of Austin, Texas, in 1853. He was Treasurer of the City of Austin in 1856. Byrd had a hot debate with the renowned Sam Houston in which the young lawyer bested. When the civil war opened, Governor Edwin Clark appointed him Adjutant-General of Texas Troops. He saw active duty at Lieutenant Colonel of the 14th Texas infantry. He was in command of Fort DeRussey, Louisiana, in March of 1864 and was forced to surrender himself and the fort to the federals. He returned to Winchester after the war and bought Judge Robert White's house o 407 South Washington Street. He was concerned about public education and participated on the school board. He married Robert Jones Rivers's daughter Jennie. They had 9 children one being Richard Evelyn Byrd father of Harry Flood Byrd.

Family links:

 Richard Evelyn Byrd (1801 - 1872)
 Ann Harrison Byrd (1802 - 1842)
 Jennie Rivers Byrd (1840 - 1930)*
 Richard Evelyn Byrd (1860 - 1925)*
 Mary Amistead Byrd (1862 - 1950)*
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Burial: Mount Hebron Cemetery Winchester Winchester City Virginia, USA

Created by: stars&bars Record added: Apr 23, 2007 Find A Grave Memorial# 19064319

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Lt. Colonel William Byrd (CSA)'s Timeline

September 9, 1828
Cottage Farm, Clarke, Virginia, United States
August 13, 1860
Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States
April 3, 1898
Age 69
Winchester, VA, United States
Mount Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, Winchester City, Virginia, United States