- John Stuart Williams
Early life and career
Mount Sterling, Kentucky, Williams attended the common schools and graduated from Miami Universityin Oxford, Ohio, in 1839. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1840, and commenced practice in Paris, Kentucky. He served in the Mexican-American War, first as a captain of an independent company attached to the 6th U.S. Infantry, and afterward as a colonel of the Fourth Regiment of the Kentucky Volunteers. He received the nickname "Cerro Gordo Williams" for his gallantry at that battle.
Williams was a member of the
Kentucky House of Representativesin 1851 and 1853. He became known as a leading proponent of states rights. He was initially an anti- secessionist, but abhorred President Abraham Lincoln's militant tactics and cast his lot with the Confederacy.
With the outbreak of hostilities, Williams travelled to Prestonburg in early 1861 and was commissioned as the
Colonelof the 5th Kentucky Infantry. He served initially in the Eastern Theater, initially under Humphrey Marshall in southwestern Virginia. He participated in Marshall's ill-fated invasion of eastern Kentucky in 1862. He was promoted to brigadier generalin 1863 and assigned command of the Department of Southwestern Virginia.
He organized a
brigadeof cavalryand helped resist Ambrose Burnside's invasion of eastern Tennessee in the autumn of 1863. He resigned that command and transferred to Georgia, assuming command of the Kentucky regiments in the cavalry of Joseph Wheeler. He received a formal resolution of thanks from the Second Confederate Congressin the fall of 1864 for his actions at the Battle of Saltville. He surrendered in 1865.
Williams returned home following the war and went on to engage in agricultural pursuits, with his residence in
He again became a member of the State House in 1873 and 1875. He was ran unsuccessfully for
Governor of Kentuckyin 1875, and was a presidential electoron the Democratic ticket in 1876. He was elected to the United States Senatein 1879 and served from March 4 1879to March 3 1885. He failed in his reelection bid and returned to his agricultural pursuits.
Williams became involved in land development in
Floridain the late 1880s, and along with a partner, founded the town of Naples, Florida.
He died in Mount Sterling in 1898 and was interred in Winchester Cemetery in Winchester.
CongBio|W000522 Retrieved on
* [http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/chron/civilwarnotes/williams.html The Latin Library]
*findagrave|8951 Retrieved on
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