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Daniel Weisiger Adams

Daniel Weisiger Adams

American lawyer and army officer
The basics
Occupations Officer Lawyer
Countries United States of America
Gender male
Birth May 1, 1821 (Frankfort)
Death June 13, 1872 (New Orleans)
Education University of Virginia
Authority Library of congress id VIAF id
The details

Daniel Weisiger Adams (May 1, 1821 – June 13, 1872) was a lawyer and a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War (Civil War).

Early life and career

Adams was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, to George Adams and Anna Weisiger Adams. His brother, William Wirt Adams, also was a Confederate Army brigadier general.

The family moved to Mississippi in 1825. Adams read law and became a lawyer in Mississippi.

He also was a second lieutenant in the Mississippi militia and a member of the Mississippi legislature. Adams killed, in a duel, a newspaper editor who had criticized his father.

Adams moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1852. He became prominent in local political and social circles, and his practice became one of the city's largest.

Civil War

With the secession of Louisiana following the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, in early 1861 Louisiana Governor Thomas O. Moore appointed Adams a member of the military board created to prepare the state for war. Adams was later appointed a lieutenant colonel of the 1st Louisiana Regulars, or 1st Louisiana Infantry, in the Confederate Army, and was promoted to the rank of colonel on October 30, 1861 after the regiment was sent to Pensacola, Florida.

When his regiment's brigade commander, Brigadier General Adley H. Gladden was killed on the first day of the Battle of Shiloh, Adams assumed command of the brigade. Soon thereafter, Adams was wounded in further fighting at the Hornet's Nest and lost his right eye. Adams was so severely wounded that the driver of the wagon in which he was being transported with other wounded soldiers left the senseless and muddy general for dead along the muddy road to lighten the wagon's load. Adams was saved when passing soldiers of the 10th Mississippi Infantry Regiment noticed that Adams was alive.

Adams was promoted to brigadier general on May 23. 1862. He led his brigade at the battles of Perryville and Stones River. He was wounded again, in the left arm, at Stones River on December 31, 1862.

Adams returned to duty in early 1863 and led his brigade at the siege of Jackson, Mississippi under General Joseph E. Johnston. Under the command of General Braxton Bragg, Adams's brigade fought at the Chickamauga. Adams's brigade broke through the Union lines on the second day of the battle but they were driven back by Union Army reinforcements. Adams again was wounded, in the left arm, and captured.

When he recovered sufficiently to return to duty and was exchanged, Adams briefly commanded a cavalry brigade. He subsequently was made the commander of the District of Central Alabama in 1864, and the commander of the State of Alabama, North of Gulf Department in 1865. He took part in the Battle of Selma in 1865, and the Battle of Columbus, Georgia, that same year.

Postbellum career

After the war ended, Adams spent some time in England. Then, he resumed the practice of law in New Orleans until his death on June 13, 1872. Daniel Weisiger Adams is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Jackson, Mississippi next to his brother William Wirt Adams. Daniel Weisiger Adams's gravesite is unmarked but ironically there is a cenotaph tombstone for him in Greenwood's Confederate Section.


The photograph labeled as "D.W. Adams" in Francis Miller's Photograph History of the Civil War Volume X (which also appears in Find A Grave) is incorrect; it is that of his brother W.W. Adams. The only known photograph {above} of Daniel Weisiger Adams appears in Ezra J. Warner's "Generals In Gray", page 1.

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