William B. Lawrence was born in about 1841 in Texas, the son of George W. and Sarah Lawrence. His father was a farmer, born in Virginia, and his mother was born in Illinois. The family had immigrated to Texas in about 1824, judging by the birth of the eldest child in the family. He was the brother of Charles Lawrence.
The family was enumerated in the census of 1850 in Walker County. By 1860, George W. had died, and Sarah was head of family. William was enumerated as age eighteen, a laborer.
W. B. Lawrence was on a list of voters for militia officers of the 17th Brigade on December 21, 1861, in Moon Precinct, Walker County. He was in the militia of that county.
On March 29, William, along with his brother Charles, joined the
Second Texas Lancers at Danville, Montgomery County. They were enrolled by John E. George. William gave his age as twenty; his home was fifty miles from the place of rendezvous, Camp Carter at Hempstead. He gave no value for his horse or equipment.
In addition to his brother, three of his first cousins once removed were in
Captain Wooldridge's company. They were James Lindley, John Lindley, and Elijah Lindley.
William trained at Hempstead, then rode to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with the rest of his regiment. He was dismounted there with the others, and sent to Arkansas Post. There he was captured by Union troops in the Battle of Arkansas Post on January 11, 1863. He probably was ill and did not fight in the actual battle.
William was sent to Gratiot Street Prison in St. Louis, which is where those who were ill were sent. He was admitted to Gratiot Street Prison Hospital.
Gratiot Street Prison, St. Louis
Over half of the men from Company B who were sent there died from illness, cold, and mistreatment. He appears on a list of sick and wounded at Gratiot Street Prison Hospital in March of 1863. His disease was listed as acute diarrhea.
William died March 13, 1863 in Gratiot Street Hospital. He is buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery at St. Louis in Plot 21-0-5080.
Thank you to Scott McKay for sharing this photo of the marker of W. B. Lawrence. Scott researches the Tenth Texas Infantry, which was brigaded with the 24th Cavalry though most of the War.
You may view Scott McKay's other photos of Jefferson Barracks markers for men of the 24th Regiment Texas Cavalry.
This information was compiled from county and census records, from the Compiled Service Records, which are housed in the National Archives, Washington, D. C., from the Adjutant General's Files in the Texas State Archives, and from the website of Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
For further information and records of all Confederate soldiers of Montgomery County, Texas, as well as histories of the regiments they served in, see Montgomery County, Texas, CSA by Frank M. Johnson. The book may be purchased by visiting Frank's website at frankmjohnson.net or by contacting Frank at [email protected]
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