“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

William Nelson Rector Beall

March 20, 1825 - July 25, 1883


— West Point graduate, Confederate States Army brigadier general —

William Nelson Rector Beall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
1. William Nelson Rector Beall Marker
Inscription.  Beall's grave is about 70 feet up the slope.

Beall was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, but his family moved to Arkansas. He graduated from West Point in 1848, and largely served on the western frontier. He resigned from the U.S. Army as Arkansas seceded. Beall is not known to have lived in Nashville, so why is he buried here? It was likely because his wife Felicia Bass was from here. She would have seen him buried as she lived until 1921.

Arkansas held a state convention in March 1861 and was against secession from the U.S. In April, U.S. President Lincoln called for troops to invade the C.S.A. Opinions changed and when the convention reassembled in May, the vote was 69 to 1 for secession. Like Arkansas, Beall had been reluctant and was one of the last Southerners to resign.

Beall entered Confederate service at his U.S. rank of captain but was promoted to brigadier general on April 11, 1862. In August he was placed in command of Port Hudson, Louisiana on a strategic bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi River. He immediately began designing a line of fortifications.

In 1863 it became apparent U.S. forces would
William Nelson Rector Beall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
2. William Nelson Rector Beall Marker
make a significant effort to take Port Hudson and Vicksburg. In May the U.S. Army had about 30,000 troops in-position to lay siege to the Confederate line, held by only about 7.000. On May 27 the U.S. Army made a general assault all along the line. Beall played a key role in their repulse. U.S. casualties were close to 2000 with up to 450 killed; total C.S. casualties were no more than 274. On June 13, the U.S. opened a huge artillery bombardment. Shells fell at the rate of more than one a second. The Confederates were advised they might be massacred if another assault was made. Beall and the defenders further enhanced their reputation by repulsing another assault, the U.S. troops suffering another 1,805 casualties. Due to starvation and the July 4 surrender of Vicksburg, Port Hudson surrendered on July 9. The defenders had endured 46 days of siege, the longest in American military history.

After the surrender Beall was sent to prison. Confederate prisoners were freezing to death in the colder climates of the U.S. For the Confederates to get permission to send blankets and clothes to the prisoners, the U.S. government demanded badly needed Confederate cotton. Beall was released on parole to serve as a Confederate agent for this trade. He had an office in New York City.
Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 28.
Topics and series.
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This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans series list.
Location. 36° 9.095′ N, 86° 43.993′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from Lebanon Pike. Marker is in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 Lebanon Pike, Nashville TN 37210, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. George Earl Maney (within shouting distance of this marker); Benjamin Franklin Cheatham (within shouting distance of this marker); Confederate Circle at Mount Olivet (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rachel Carter Craighead (about 600 feet away); William Brimage Bate (about 700 feet away); Caroline Meriwether Goodlett (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Bell (approx. 0.2 miles away); Adolphus Heiman (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
More about this marker. Marker is part of Mt. Olivet Confederate Memorial Hall Trail.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 27 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 5, 2021