A Civil War Biography

William Henry Carroll

Carroll was born in 1810 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was the son of William Carroll, a general during the War of 1812 and the governor of Tennessee from 1821 until 1827 and again from 1829 until 1835. William H. Carroll was a wealthy plantation owner and postmaster before the war. He was also active in the local militia.

When Tennessee decided to follow the other states in the South, Carroll was appointed a brigadier general in Tennessee's provisional army. He helped organize a regiment of infantry in October 1861. The regiment became the 37th Tennessee with Carroll named colonel. He was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate army on 21 October 1861. He was originally assigned to the Memphis area. Albert S. Johnston, becoming apprehensive of the situation in east Tennessee, ordered Carroll to Knoxville.

On 11 December 1861 Carroll, as the Confederate commander at Knoxville, issued a proclamation declaring martial law. He then arrested all those openly opposed to the Confederate States before restoring the civil authority. He commanded the 2nd brigade in George B. Crittenden's force that engaged George H. Thomas's Union forces at Mill Springs, Kentucky on 19 January 1862. Braxton Bragg, the department commander, in his effort to rid his command of political generals had Carroll arrested for drunkenness, incompetence and neglect on 31 March 1862. Bragg brought similar charges against Crittenden the following day. Like Crittenden before him, Carroll, after a court of inquiry, resigned on 1 February 1863. With Nashville in Union hands he moved to Canada. He never returned to the United States. He died in Montreal on 3 May 1868.

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