Historic Markers Across Alabama

Governor William Calvin Oates / Colonel W. C. Oates, CSA at Gettysburg

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: Oakwood Cemetery, Montgomery, AL
County: Montgomery
Coordinates: N 32° 23.083    W 086° 17.659
  32.38471666    -86.29431666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMDA94


Governor William Calvin Oates

Born in Pike County into a poor Alabama family in 1835, Oates practiced law in Abbeville when the War began. Elected Captain of the "Henry Pioneers," Co. G, 15th Alabama Infantry. He saw service in Jackson's Corps and was appointed Colonel of the 15th Regiment in 1863. Given command of the 48th Alabama infantry in July 1864, Oates' right arm was shattered by a mini ball at Petersburg in August 1864. He later served Alabama as a legislator, Congressman, and Governor. Oates served stateside as a Brigadier General, USV in the Spanish-American War.

Colonel W. C. Oates, CSA at Gettysburg

July 2, 1863: General Law's Alabama Brigade of Longstreet's Corps arrived on the field, having marched 23 miles in 11 hours. The 15th Alabama Regiment commanded by Oates became the extreme right flank of Lee's Army. It made five charges up Little Round Top against withering fire of the enemy and engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat with Col. Joshua Chamberlain's 20th Maine Regiment and other Federal troops before being driven off the hill by a final desperate bayonet charge from the high ground against its flank and rear. Oates always attributed his regiment's failure to take its objective on the shortage of water and fatigue from the forced march.

End of Governor William Calvin Oates / Colonel W. C. Oates, CSA at Gettysburg