Brigadier General Francis M. Walker

Brigadier General Francis M. Walker

General F. M. Walker, the second Colonel of the Old Nineteenth Tennessee Confederate Regiment, a brave and gallant soldier, who gave up his life for the South in one of the fiercest battles of the war, was a Kentuckian by birth, but a Tennessean by adoption.

He moved to Eastern Tennessee in 1851, and later made his home in Chattanooga in 1854. General Walker was at that time a veteran of the Mexican war, having served as Lieutenant in one of the Kentucky regiments.

At the beginning of the Great War between the States, General Walker cast his lot with the people he loved, and gave to them the benefit of his military experience, his labor and his life. He raised a company of infantry in Chattanooga, and was assigned to the Nineteenth Tennessee Confederate Regiment, and in the organization of the regiment was elected Lieutenant-Colonel.

General Walker was with the regiment at Cumberland Gap, was with the regiment on the trip to Goose Creek salt works in Eastern Kentucky, at Barboursville, and in the Fishing Creek fight, which culminated so disastrously to our forces. It was his regiment (the Old Nineteenth) that opened the battle and was being successfully pushed, until the order to cease firing was given by General Zollicoffer. In the battle of Shiloh he fought with the regiment, then in Maney's Brigade and under General Breckenridge, where he and the regiment won praises in the reports.

In the reorganization in 1862, he was made Colonel of the regiment, and with the regiment, still under General Brecken ridge, was sent to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and took part in the battle of Baton Rouge, August the 5th, 1862.

General Walker commanded his regiment in the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, December the 5th, 1862, in A. P. Stewart's Brigade and Cheatham's Division, and was commended by General Stewart for noble service; his regiment having suffered more than any other in the brigade.

At Chickamauga, as at Murfreesboro, the Old Nineteenth suffered the heaviest loss of the brigade, and General Strahl said: "Colonel P. M. Walker and Lieutenant-Colonel B. F. Moore acted with such coolness and skill as to sustain their gallant regiment in an undaunted fight, though nearly a third of its number fell."

In that long one hundred days and nights continuous battle, from Dalton to Atlanta, Georgia, Colonel Walker was conspicuous for bravery.

On the Kennesaw line Colonel Walker's regiment was transferred to Maney's Brigade, with Colonel Walker in command, and which he led until he fell in battle. In the battle of Kennesaw Colonel Walker won promotion.

July the 21st Colonel Walker received his commission as Brigadier General, but had not been assigned to duty as such. He fell in the battle of July the 22d, leading his regiment and his brigade. So ended the life of a noble, brave, Christian soldier.

 AHGP Tennessee

Source: The Old Nineteenth Tennessee Regiment, C. S. A., June 1861 - April 1865, by Dr. W. J. Worsham, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1902.


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