William Thomas McLane
20 October 1839 – 16 January 1902
Private, CSA, 10 May 1862 – March 1865
William McLane was born in Elamville, Alabama to Malcolm M. and Mary Bently McLane; the eldest of 14 children. He married Mary Camilla McDonald on 7 July 1860 and farmed family lands with his father. They had a son, who died in infancy, before the start of the war.
William McLane enlisted as a Private in Company H, 37th Alabama Infantry on 10 May, 1862. His brother-in-law, Thomas Phillips, and Thomas’s younger brother, George, enlisted at the same time and served in the same company. He was involved in the following significant engagements and events:
- Garrison duty, Columbus, Mississippi
- Battle of Iuka, Mississippi 18-19 September 1862
- Battle of Corinth, Mississippi 3-4 October 1862
- Battles of Chicasaw Bayou, Port Gibson, Baker’s Creek (Vicksburg Campaign) 1862-1863
- Defense of Vicksburg, 18 May – 4 July, 1863
- Prisoner of war at Vicksburg. Paroled 10 July 1863 to Demopolis, Alabama.
- Released from parole in an exchange, returned to duty
- Battle of Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge 24-25 November 1863.
- Atlanta Campaign Battles at Mill Creek Gap, Resaca, Noonday Creek, Kennesaw May-July 1864
- Battle of Atlanta 22 July 1864
- Prisoner of War 22 July 1864; interned at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio.
- Released in prisoner exchange March, 1865, at City Point, Virginia.
In 1869, the McLane clan — along with many Phillips, Dansby, and Cobbs — moved from Barbour County, Alabama to Texas and settled in Henderson and Anderson Counties, where they worked as farmers. William and Camilla had eight more children, all but the eldest born in Fincastle, Texas. They passed away, within four days of each other, in January 1902.
How many a glorious name for us,
How many a story of fame for us
They left: Would it not be a blame for us
If their memories part
From our land and heart,
And a wrong to them, and shame for us?
But their memories e’er shall remain for us,
And their names, bright names, without stain for us; The glory they won shall not wane for us,
In legend and lay
Our heroes in Gray
Shall forever live over again for us.
— C.S.A. by Abram Joseph Ryan (1838-1886)
Handout for Sons of Confederate Veterans grave rededication ceremony, 3 Nov 2012