More About John H. Williams

Story furnished by Jay Adams ( Great Grandson of John Williams)

From the Spartanburg Herald Confederate Veteran's Edition
August 17, 1910

Williams, John Henry – Born April 19, 1841, Union County. Enlisted August 22, 1861, Co. B., 15th S.C.V. Capt. William H. Gist. Transferred to Gen. R.E. Lee’s headquarters. Promoted to sergeant. Was courier at Lee’s headquarters at close of war. Wounded at Second Manassas, Aug. 30, 1862, and at Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863. Farmer and Magistrate.

Twice wounded and disabled from field service; was detailed and sent to Gen. R.E. Lee’s headquarters and was sergeant in charge of couriers for Cols. James L. Corley, chief quartermaster, and R.G. Cole, chief commissary of Lee’s army. These colonels were on Gen Lee’s staff.  (In the 1940's or 50's, Anne Sutton Williams Pierce wrote an article about John's Civil War service. You can read this at Civil War article.)

“I surrendered at Appomattox Court House with Lee’s army on April 10, 1865; got my parole the next day, and on the third day started for home on horseback, and reached my home in Union after about ten days’ ride. Just after the surrender I was sent to Gen. Grant’s headquarters by the chief quartermaster of Lee’s army with a dispatch to Col. Lorrence, Grant’s chief quartermaster. While riding on both sides of the road, I viewed Grant’s splendid army, so finely equipped with everything pertaining to war. I could only wonder how it was that Lee’s army could hold out so long against such odds as to numbers and resources. But the end had come and I was in their midst, had fought them for four years, and the great Robert E. Lee, the general of the world’s generals, said stop the war and bloodshed, made his own terms of surrender, and the chivalrous general, U.S. Grant, accepted the terms and the war ended. And forty-five years have passed and gone and may we have a happy reunion in Spartanburg Aug. 17-18, 1910.”

Photo of John Williams, Later in Life

To read his obituary, click on John Williams Death Notice.

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