General William A. Quarles
 Civil War Soldier

General William A. Quarles (1825-1893)
General William A. Quarles is a Virginian by birth, born near Louisa Court House July 4, 1825.  His parents were born in Virginia and his ancestors were settlers of Jamestown in the early colonial history of Virginia.  His maternal ancestors were Huguenots.  He was taken by his parents to Christian County, Ky. in 1830, and was educated at home and in the University of Virginia, where he studied law.  At the death of his father he returned home and began the management of the estate.  He was admitted to the bar in 1848 and located in Clarksville, Tenn. where he was very successful in the practice of his profession and enjoyed a lucrative practice, not only occupying the first position at the bar of his county but also in the State.  During the presidential election of 1852 he was elector for his district on the Democratic ticket. In 1858 he was defeated by Hon. F. K. Zollicoffer for congress by only 250 or 275 votes in a district never less than 1,500 Whig majority.  He was soon after appointed circuit court judge, during the sickness of Judge Pepper, and held the office for about one year.  Sometime after he was appointed president of the Memphis, Chattanooga & Louisiana Railway Company, and in 1858, without solicitation, was appointed bank supervisor of the state.  He was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention of Cincinnati in 1856 and at Charleston in 1860.  At the breaking out of the war he immediately offered his services to the Confederate government at Montgomery, Ala.  He was soon appointed aid-de-camp upon the staff of Gen. S. R. Anderson, and his relations with the banking business enabled him to obtain for the State considerable sums of money.  The second military camp organized in Montgomery County was called Camp Quarles.  In Robertson County he organized the famous Forty-second Tennessee Regiment, and his military record began at Fort Donalson.  He was always with his command and foremost in battle until severely wounded at Franklin, not recovering from his wounds until after the war.  He was in the following hard-fought battles: Fort Donalson, Tenn., Port Hudson, La., Jackson, Miss., New Hope Church, Pine Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, Smyrna Depot, Peach Tree Creek, Lick skillet Road, Atlanta, Ga. and Franklin, Tenn.  In the last battle he fell, it was supposed mortally wounded, and his command was nearly destroyed.  He was always at the head of his men and did much to shield them from danger, and on this occasion his horse carried him wounded to the rear, it was supposed to die.  During the battle of Lick Skillet Road Gen. Quarles made the attack, and twice his horse was shot from under him.  After the close of the war and the General had recovered from his wounds he returned to Clarksville where he has since practiced law with the same success that he met with previous to the war.  In 1875 he represented Robertson, Stewart and Montgomery Counties in the State Senate, and was a representative of Tennessee in the National Convention of 1880 and 1884.  Gen. Quarles is one of the heroic figures of the Grand Army of Tennessee.  He possessed that strong individuality, that charm of personality, which endeared him to his troops, and gave them the highest confidence in his personal daring and his skill and wisdom as a commander.  He led them to battle, directed them amid the fearful perils of the field with imperturbable coolness, and is known in history as one of the few capable officers, who, on many principle battlefields of the civil war, swept the Federal troops back in promiscuous route.   He is one of the most conspicuous figures of the most conspicuous war in history.
Goodspeed History of Tennessee, 1886
Another biography of General Quarles appears on this site in the Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly

Submitted by A C Doggett At ACDOGGETT@AOL.COM

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