A Civil War Biography

Frederick William Mackey Holliday

Holliday was born 22 February 1828 in Winchester, Virginia. He studied the law and established a practice in Winchester. He was known to be an early staunch supporter of secession.

When Virginia left the Union Holliday joined the Mountain Rangers, Company D of the 33rd Virginia Volunteer infantry. He was named captain of the Mountain Rangers on 10 May 1861. The 33rd Va, brigaded with the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 27th Virginia regiments saw action at First Manassas. The brigade, commanded by Thomas J. Jackson, would forever after be known as the "Stonewall" brigade. Holliday took part in the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862 and during the Seven Days. He was promoted to major on 22 April 1862. At Cedar Mountain on 9 August 1862 he was severely wounded in the arm. The arm was eventually amputated. He was promoted to colonel on 1 February 1863. In the election of 1863 he defeated the incumbent, Alexander R. Boteler, for a seat representing Virginia's 10th district in the Second Confederate Congress. Holliday took his seat in February 1864. He officially resigned as colonel in the 33rd Virginia on 1 March 1864. While in the Congress Holliday was a staunch supporter of the military. He pushed for legislation to better organize, supply, and pay the Confederate armies. He also pushed for useful employment for disabled soldiers.

Following the war Holliday returned to his law practice. He also did some farming. In the election of 1877 he was elected governor of Virginia. He served from 1 January 1878 until 1 January 1882. He is best known for halting the effort to cancel debts incurred during the war. After leaving office Holliday retired from public life. He died 20 May 1899.

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