Friday, October 31, 2014

Death Story of Liut. Col. William Henry Ingerton.

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William Henry Ingerton.

Birth: 1835, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio.
Death: Dec. 8, 1864, Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee.

Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry Regimental History.

On the 25th of November Col. Ingerton with a number of others were sitting in the lobby of the hotel, the Colonel holding Gen. Gillem's little daughter on his knee.  J H. Walker, who had been a Lieutenant in the 2d Tennessee Cavalry, came into the hotel and took a seat near Col. Ingerton, and acting as if intoxicated leaned rudely over against him. Col. Ingerton pushed him away from him to protect the little girl, and then recognizing the man as an ex-Federal officer who had a grudge against him told him if he had any grievance against him that he (Walker) could find him at any time, and if he would come to him in the proper condition he would settle this matter to his satisfaction.

Col. Ingerton then set the little girl down and started to walk across the corridor  of the hotel suspecting no danger from this man. Hearing some one behind him he turned and confronted Walker, who had drawn his pistol and was in the act of firing. Ingerton hastily sprang towards his assailant, caught hold of him and partially turned him around but Walker succeeded in firing the pistol, the ball taking effect in Colonel Ingerton's abdomen, inflicting a fatal wound.

With some assistance he walked to his room on the second floor of the hotel. On the receipt of this news in camp the officers  and men of the Regiment were greatly enraged, as were the entire Brigade. Immediately after the shooting Capt. D. M. Nelson of Gen. Gillem's staff, who was a warm friend of Col. Ingerton, and a brave and resolute young officer, procured a shot gun, repaired to the hotel and attempted to shoot Walker, but just as he was in the act of firing some one knocked the muzzle of the gun up and its contents were discharged into the ceiling of the hotel office.

Walker was arrested and placed in jail. There was great excitement and indignation in the Regiment and  threats of lynching were heard on all sides. The officers of the Regiment went in a body to Gen. Gillem's rooms  in the Franklin House and asked that the assassin be  turned over to them, stating if it was not done they  would bring the Regiment into the city, break down the doors of the jail and drag the murderer out and hang  him.

Gen. Gillem told them he would pledge his honor as an officer that Walker should be tried at once and it not properly punished they could take the matter into their own hands.

 Col. Ingerton lingered in great agony until December 8, when his spirit took its flight. During this time he was often delirious from the inflammation that had set up from the wounds, and would fight over the recent battles in which he had been engaged at Greeneville, Morristown and Bull's Gap; calling on his favorite officers to charge the enemy. His remains were embalmed and taken charge of by his wife and faithful friend Lieut. James Reese, who had been his associate in the Fourth U. S. Cavalry, and taken  to Zenia, Ohio, the home of his wife for burial.

 Lieut.-Colonel Ingerton was a born soldier, brave, discreet and with capacity to grasp a situation in an instant, and the intelligence to act at the proper time. He was no boaster, and was always watchful of his men and  made no needless sacrifice of life. A Brigadier's star would have been a most graceful acknowledgment of his service in East Tennessee, and he would have worn it with credit to himself and honor to the service.

 Previous to joining the Thirteenth Tennessee Cavalry Col. Ingerton was Acting Provost Marshal on the Staff  of Gen. W. Sooy Smith in the Mississippi campaign in  the Spring of 1864. It was alleged by Col. Ingerton's friends he had preferred charges against Lieut. Walker for cowardice in the presence of the enemy at the battle  of Okalona, Miss., and that Walker was convicted and dismissed from the service.

The friends of Walker claimed that the charges were preferred against him for drunkenness and disorderly conduct while at Memphis, Tenn. In either case it was a cowardly assassination, Col. Ingerton having only done his duty as Provost Marshal in preferring charges against an unworthy officer. Walker escaped from jail and was never prosecuted. We have been informed that about ten years ago (1892), while in an intoxicated condition, he met a tragic death near his home in Sevier county, Tenn. Returning from his saw-mill to his home in a vehicle drawn by a mule,he fell out of the vehicle and frightened the animal. His clothing was caught and he was dragged to his death.  Walker's name does not appear upon the rolls of the 2d Tennessee Cavalry.

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