Writing Process — Tennessee Valor

Posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

William Tate enlisted into Company H as a private.

The Writing Process — Tennessee Valor

I worked 4 1/2 hours today, beginning by drafting the 1st Chapter. I did not get far before I realized I needed to research members of Company H.

Company H’s commander at Gettysburg was 2nd Lt. William Tate. Here is a brief bio:

William Newton Tate was born in 1839 on his parent’s farm near Mt. Juliet, Wilson County, Tennessee.

His parents’ farm was 200 acres, worth $5,600. They owned four female slaves.

The Tate house was framed, with two main rooms, a hall, and a porch. Nearby was a kitchen house, made of logs, with two large rooms and a pantry.

William attended school which was about a mile away, and usually was subscription (parents pay by the month or term).

He enlisted in May 1861, along with his brother, John Bell Tate (dob-1840), three cousins; Benjamin T. Alexander (dob-1841), Van Williamson (dob-1831), and William Williamson (dob-1830), and an uncle, Ezekial Cloyd (dob-1820).

Tate enlisted in May 1861 as a private and was immediately detached from the company and served as a nurse at Healing Springs, in western Virginia. He returned to the company in May 1862 and fought in the battles of Seven Pines (5/31/1862), Mechanicsville and Gaines Mill (6/25-27/1862), Frasier’s Farm (6/30/1862), Cedar Run (8/9/1862), and Second Manassas (8/28-29/1862).

On August 30, 1862 he was promoted to 3d Lieutenant, and after the battles of Harper’s Ferry (9/14-16/1862), and Sharpsburg (9/17/1862) he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, “for gallant conduct on the field,” by General Archer. Tate fought in the battles of Fredericksburg (12/11-15/1863) and Chancellorsville (5/1-6/1863). He was, “stunned by the first cannon-shot from the enemy and his comrades left him for dead,” during Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg (7/1-3/1863), however he survived the battle.

Tate was promoted to Captain on 4/8/1864 and served in all the regiment’s remaining battles; the Wilderness (5/5-6/1864), Spotsylvania (5/7-12/1864), North Anna (5/25-27/1864), Cold Harbor (6/1-13/1864), the Petersburg siege (1864-1865), Globe Tavern (8/19/1864), Ream’s Station (8/24/1864), Burgess’ Mill (10/27/1864), Boydton Plank Road (2/5/1865), Hatcher’s Run (4/2/1865), and the Appomattox campaign (4/3-9/1865). He was captured before the surrender and was not one of the few 7th Tennessee survivors to be listed on the Appomattox Roster.

After the war, he returned to the family farm, but eventually the farm was turned over to his younger brother, John.

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