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Civil War Soldiers - Powell

Powell, William H., brigadier-general, U.S. Army, was born in Monmouthshire, South Wales, May 10, 1825. He came to the United States with his parents in 1830, received a common school education in Nashville, Tenn., afterwards engaged in the erection of manufacturing works, and was from 1857 to 1861 manager of the Lawrence iron works at fronton, Ohio. He entered the Federal army in Aug., 1861, recruited a company of cavalry in southern Ohio, and became captain in the 2nd W. Va. cavalry on Nov. 8. He became major and then lieutenant-colonel of this regiment in 1862, was commissioned its colonel, May 18, 1863, and on July 18 was wounded while leading his regiment in a charge at Wytheville, Va., being left on the field and taken prisoner. He was exchanged in Feb., 1864, commanded a division in Sheridan's cavalry corps in the Shenanodah valley, and was commissioned brigadier-general of volunteers on Oct. 19, while on March 13, 1865, he was brevetted major-general of volunteers for gallant and meritorious services in the campaign of 1864 in West Virginia, and "particularly at the battle of Front Royal, Va." In 1890 he was awarded a Congressional medal of honor "for distinguished services in a raid where, with only 20 men he charged and captured the enemy's camp, 500 strong, without the loss of a man or gun at Sinking creek, Va., Nov. 26, 1862." Gen. Powell resigned, Jan. 5, 1866, declined a Republican nomination for Congress offered him in 1866 and again in 1868, and was a Grant and Colfax elector in the latter year. He superintended the building and was general manager of the Clifton nail works in Mason county, W. Va., 1867-70, was general manager of the Belleville nail company of Belleville, Ill., 1876-80, and in 1882 organized the Western nail company at Belleville, of which he was made president and general manager. He was department commander of the G. A. R. in Illinois, 1895-96, and was appointed internal revenue collecter for the 13th district of Illinois in 1898.

Source: The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-1865, Volume 8 Biographical, 1908

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