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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