William Richard Terry
Brigadier General William Richard Terry was born at Liberty, Bedford county, Va., March 12, 1817. After his graduation by the Virginia military institute in 1850, he devoted himself to agricultural and commercial pursuits until the secession of Virginia, when he promptly entered the military service as captain of a company of cavalry organized in Bedford county. He led his men to Manassas, and after serving at Fairfax Court House, participated in the cavalry charge which demoralized the broken right wing of the Federal army on the night of April 21st, continuing until midnight in pursuit of the enemy. His conduct at the battle of First Manassas won the attention of his commanders, and in September following, at the request of General Early, he was promoted to colonel and assigned to the command of the Twenty-fourth Virginia infantry, from which Early had been promoted to brigadier-general.
In May 1862, at the battle of Williamsburg, the Twenty- fourth Virginia and the Fifth North Carolina regiments made a brilliant and heroic charge upon the enemy's position, and Terry, leading his regiment, fell severely wounded, but earned a reputation as an inspiring and irresistible leader in assault that he fully maintained throughout the war.
Longstreet and D. H. Hill both praised the men and their gallant leaders, the latter expressing the opinion that the caution exhibited by the Federals in their subsequent movements "was due to the terror inspired by the heroism of those noble regiments. History has no example of a more daring charge.
" Hancock, who bore the brunt of the attack, declared that the two regiments deserved to have the name "Immortal" inscribed on their banners. Under Terry's leadership the regiment fought with the same heroism at Second Manassas, and after the wounded of Colonel Corse, then commanding Kemper's brigade, Colonel Terry succeeded him in temporary command. he was with his regiment in all its battles, and was seven times badly wounded. One of the most desperate of his wounds was received at Gettysburg, in the memorable assault of Pickett's division.
He commanded Kemper's brigade from the fall of 1863 until nearly the close of the war, with promotion to brigadier-general in May, 1864.
Assigned to the department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia with Pickett, he took part in the expedition against New Bern, and in May, 1864, bore a worthy part in the gallant stand made against Butler at Drewry's Bluff.
Throughout the long defense of Richmond and Petersburg he was one of the trusted brigadiers of Pickett's division, and finally, on March 31, 1865, just before the abandonment of the Confederate capital, he fell severely wounded near Dinwiddie Court House, leading his men in the successful fight of Pickett's division, which preceded the disaster at Five Forks.
After the close of the war he served eight years in the Virginia senate, held the office of superintendent of the State penitentiary two terms, and from April, 1886, to 1893, was superintendent of the Soldiers' Home at Richmond. This office he was forced to surrender by failing health, which continued until his death, March 28, 1897, at his home in Chesterfield county. He was married in young manhood to Miss Pemberton, of Powhatan, who, with two sons and three daughters, survived him.
Can you identify this man?
First I would like to Thank Scotty Fritts: for sending this tintype photo.
He bought this photo some years ago, and the back of it is signed Richard Terry.
He was wandering if it was an early photo of William Richard Terry.At his time and expense he sent me a copy and I told him I would put it on my page in the hopes of someone recognizing the photo.If you have any information that would help in this endeavor please e-mail me.
Again Many Thanks to Scotty Fritts!
Source: Evans, Clement, Confederate Military History, Volume III, Confederate Publishing Company, Atlanta, GA, 1899.
This Bio of Gen. Terry is taken from
The Virginia Civil War Home Page.