A Civil War Biography

William Feimster Tucker

Tucker was born 9 May 1827 in Iredell county, North Carolina. He graduated from Virginia's Emory and Henry College in 1848 then moved to Houston, Mississippi. He taught school in Chickasaw county, Mississippi then in 1852 founded the Okolona Male Academy. In 1855 Tucker, although he had no legal training, was elected a county probate judge. Once a judge he studied the law and established a law practice. He was a practicing attorney in Okolona, Mississippi when the war began.

Tucker entered the Confederate service as a captain in the Chickasaw Guards which was mustered into service on 9 March 1861 as Company K, some sources say H, in the11th Mississippi infantry. The 11th became part of the 3rd brigade in Joseph E. Johnston's Army of the Shenandoah. Tucker and the 11trh fought at First Manassas then was sent back to Mississippi where the 11th was combined with other units and became the 41st Mississippi. Tucker was commissioned the 41st's colonel on 8 May 1862. He commanded the 41st, attached to the 2nd brigade/ 2nd division of Leonidas Polk's corps, during the fall 1862 Kentucky campaign and at Murfreesboro. Tucker commanded the 41st, then became part of the 1st brigade of Thomas Hindman's division, at Chickamauga and Chattanooga. Tucker was promoted to brigadier general on 11 May 1864, to date from 1 March, and was given command of a brigade which included his 41st and the 7th, 9th, 10th, and 44th Mississippi regiments. He was wounded at Resaca, Georgia three days after his commission as a brigadier was confirmed. Although never able to return to combat duty Tucker assumed command of the District of Southern Mississippi and East Louisiana in 1865. He negotiated the end of hostilities with Union Major General Napoleon Dana in April and May 1865.

Following the war Tucker returned to Okolona and his law practice. He served in the Mississippi state legislature from 1876 until 1878. His most significant contribution in the legislature was on the committee that recalled the hated Reconstruction governor, Adelbert Ames. Tucker again returned to the practice of law. To end his prosecution in a trust-fund theft case, hired gunmen shot and killed Tucker on 14 September 1881 in Okolona.

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