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Casebook: The War of 1812
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Maj. Gen. William Carroll
Carroll, Maj. Gen. William
b. March 3rd, 1788 - d. March 22nd, 1844

Nationality: American

Allegiance: American

Category: Soldier

Summary:

   William Carroll was born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1788, and moved to Tennessee in 1810, marrying Cecilia Bradford around 1813. Carroll established a nail factory in Nashville and became a successful local entrepreneur. Carroll became involved in the Tennessee militia, forming a company who voted him as their captain. He was appointed brigade inspector by Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson in November 1812. Jackson described Carroll as "indefatigable" and noted that Carroll was "the best Brigade Major in the armies of the U.S.--he ought and must be at the head of the regiment." Carroll displayed his leadership and courage during the Creek War of 1813-1814, taking part in the Battles of Talladega, Emuckfau, Enitachopco, and at Horseshoe Bend (Tohopeka), where he was wounded. In 1814, when President Madison appointed Jackson a major general in the U.S. Army, Carroll took his place as major general of the Tennessee militia Second Division. At the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Carroll led more than 3,000 troops of the Tennessee militia's Second Division. Carroll and his men formed the center of Jackson's line at the Rodriguez Canal and poured in accurate volleys to decimate Pakenham's advancing forces. There is no doubt that Carroll was an important officer for Jackson, proving his worth at New Orleans and in the Indian battles preceding the Louisiana battle. Carroll proved that well-led and drilled militia forces could perform well against the British regulars. After the war, Carroll's business enterprises continued to flourish and he became involved in steamship transportation, having the steamboat General Jackson built for him in Pittsburgh. Further reading: Frank Lawrence Ownsley, Jr., Struggle for the Borderlands: The Creek War and the Battle of New Orleans, 1812-1815. Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1981. Margaret L. Walker, "The Life of William Carroll," master's thesis, University of Tennessee, 1929.

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Related pages:
  Jackson, Andrew
       Documents: Andrew Jackson's Call for Volunteers in March 1812 
       People: Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson 
       Press: New York Evening Post - January 15, 1815 
  New Orleans, Battle of
       Documents: A Veteran of the War of 1812 Talks to Nathaniel Hawthorne 
       Documents: Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson Writes to Maj. Gen. John Lambert in the Aftermath of the Ameri 
       People: Lt. George R. Gleig 

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Copyright © Christopher T. George, 2012