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Browne, William Montague


Future Confederate military leader William Montague Browne was born July 7, 1827, in County Mayo, Ireland. He fought with the British army in the Crimean War, after which he briefly served as a diplomat and newspaper editor. Immigrating to America, Browne served the Confederacy as an aide to President Jefferson Davis (with the rank of cavalry colonel) and interim Secretary of State (February-March 1862). He was assigned to Georgia to oversee the Confederate conscription law. In November 1864, Browne assumed command of an infantry brigade to prepare for Savannah’s defense. Late in the war, Browne was recommended for promotion to general by Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown, but the Confederate Congress never acted on the recommendation. This could have been because of the ongoing dispute between the Georgia governor and the Confederate president, or it could have been simply because the Confederate Congress was too busy with more pressing matters. Interestingly, when Browne did surrender his soldiers, he was received with honors due a general - making him a unique Southern figure as being possibly recognized as a general by the United States, but not by the Confederacy. Following the war, Browne’s career included work as a lawyer, editor, writer, and professor at the University of Georgia. After his death in Athens, Georgia on April 28, 1883, he was buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens.

Browne, William Montague View large image

Source: Find a Grave