A Woodcut Scene from Harper's Magazine depicting the 15th Tennessee advancing against the 80th Ohio and the Indiana 19th Light Artillery at the battle of Perryville. 19th is at right middle, 15th Tennessee advances in the distance and 80th Ohio in the foreground.
Captain William Henry Pipes
Company G, 4th Louisiana Infantry
Company F, 15th Tennessee Infantry
William was the son of David Pipes and grandson of Windsor Pipes. William Henry Pipes was born at Beech Grove Plantation, East Feliciana Parish, near Clinton, Louisiana on May 20th, 1841. He was the ninth of 10 children born to David. William's mother was Amanda M. Dunn, David's second wife. We have little information about his younger years, but we know that his father was a fairly wealthy planter and had served under Andrew Jackson in the war of 1812, so we assume he grew up in a strong southern traditional family environment.
Our next glimpse of him comes from his military record during the Civil War. He was a Private in Company G of the 4th Louisiana Infantry in a unit known as the "Delta Rifles". For reasons unknown at this time, he left this unit and joined the 15th Tennessee Infantry under command of William Marston on November 1st, 1861 in Columbus, Kentucky. He is described as 5' 9" tall, fair complexion, dark hair and gray eyes.
Most of his cousins joined Louisiana units, so I do not know yet why he joined a Tennessee unit. He was elected 2nd Lieutenant on the same day and was mustered into Company F. This company was comprised mostly of men from the Memphis area. They do not appear to have a nickname but were surrounded by companies with names like the Washington Rifles, The Swiss Rifles, The Montgomery Guards and the Madrid Bend Guards. The 15th Tennessee had a long and illustrious career, being first attached to the Army of the Mississippi and then in late 1862 to the Army of Tennessee. Their list of major engagements is impressive:
Shiloh, April 1862
Perryville, Kentucky, October 1862
Stone's River, Tennessee, December 1862
Chickamauga, Georgia, September 1863
Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 1863
Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, November 1863
Atlanta Campaign, May to September 1864
Mill Creek, Georgia, May 1864
Resaca, Georgia, May 1864
Assault, Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 1864
Battle and Siege of Atlanta, July to August 1864
Battle, Franklin, Tennessee, November 1864
Battle, Nashville, Tennessee, December 1864
Battle, Averysborough, N. Carolina, March 1865
Battle, Bentonville N. Carolina, March 1865
Surrender, Durham Station N. Carolina, April 26th, 1865
William was elected to the position of 1st lieutenant in May of 1862 and was company commander for several companies in the 15th from that time until August of 1864 when he was promoted to Captain after passing examination. He was unfortunate enough to be captured along with 4500 others during the battle of Nashville on December 16th, 1864. He was transferred to the Federal Prison in Louisville on December 21st and then to a Prison Camp at Johnson's Island, Ohio where he spent what must have been a miserable six months. He was paroled and released after signing the oath on June 17th, 1865.
William lived another 27 years after the war, returning to Louisiana and the area near the family plantation. He married Sarah Elizabeth McKowen on October 24th, 1868. They bore 8 Children and prospered as he was elected to the State Legislature and also served as the State Treasurer. He passed away on July 1st, 1892 and is buried with his wife and family in the Beech Grove Cemetery in Clinton, Louisiana.
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