A Civil War Biography

William Lindsay Brandon

Brandon was born near Washington in Adams County, Mississippi. The exact date of his birth is not known because the family records were destroyed in a fire in 1831 but it is beleived he was born in 1801. He was educated at Washington College and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) where it is believed he studied medicine. He returned to Tennessee and became a prominent planter and sometime physician. He served in the state legislature in 1826 and rose to the rank of major general in the state militia.

When the war erupted Brandon helped form the 21st Mississippi infantry regiment and inspite of his age, about 60, he was named commander of Company D, the Jeff Davis Guards, with the rank of captain. Shortly before the 21st was sent to Virginia, Brandon was named lieutenant colonel. The 21st saw action during the Seven Days with Brandon commanding the 21st for a time until he was severely wounded at Malvern Hill, losing a leg. After returning to duty in time to see action at Gettysburg, he was promoted to colonel on 14 August 1863. He accompanied the rest on James Longstreet's 1st Corps to Tennessee and saw action at Chickamauga and during the Knoxville campaign. Shortly after the 1st Corps returned to Virginia Brandon was appointed brigadier general to rank from 18 June 1864. He was named to head the Mississippi Bureau of Conscription. The bureau closed before the end of the war, mainly due to a lack of draftable men in Mississippi at the time as the war wound down.

After the conscription bureau closed Brandon returned to his plantation, Arcole, in Wilkerson County, Mississippi and to planting. He remained there, in semi-retirement, until he died on 8 October 1890.

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