The short but notable life of William A. Nash, Union Soldier

Setting sun in Springfield, ILL.

Setting sun in Springfield, ILL.

William A. Nash was my second great cousin. He was the son of James and Alsie (Gentry) Nash. James was the son of William and Lucy Nash. Sadly, he died at eighteen years of age. He died while as a Union Soldier during Civil War service. Of all the family ancestors who were in the military both in war and in peace, he is the only one to my knowledge who died in service. For this fact alone he holds a special place of recognition.               


William A. Nash was just one of my family ancestors who served in the Union Army in the Civil War. Others include: Mathias Judd, Edmond Nash, and James M. Swallows, These men are particularly noteworthy because many of my other ancestors joined the Confederate Army. It will never be known what pain might have ensued as the men of my family took sides. In my Nash line, my uncle (and William A. Nash’s cousin) Allen Nash, joined the 16th Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army. My grandfather Edmond Nash- (also William A. Nash’s cousin) enlisted in the 8th Tennessee Mounted Infantry of the Union Army. Three of my other family lines had similar circumstances. All of my Civil War ancestors had shared roots in that they were from Tennessee. They were all poor dirt farmers. Most of them were young when they served.


William A. Nash joined the Union Army just after turning eighteen. It was late in the war- February 20, 1865. He enlisted at Granville, Tennessee and was mustered in at Nashville. William, had blue eyes, a fair complexion, and was five feet eight inches tall. William, being born in White County, Tennessee, was a farmer like his father and his father before him. William joined the 8th Tennessee Mounted Infantry- the same outfit as his cousin Edmond Nash. William only served for six months. He died while wearing the uniform. His record simply states that William A. Nash, age eighteen, “died near Sparta, Tennessee August 5th 1865…” after being ordered to be mustered out (his sun set way too soon). Interestingly enough, Sparta, Tennessee is located in White County where William was born. It probably was also his home. The cause of death is not listed. His grave today has a Union soldier marker.

 Mail this post

5 Responses to “The short but notable life of William A. Nash, Union Soldier”

  1. T. fazzini says:

    Find a grave memorial 27595386

  2. B. Nash says:

    Yes, that is interesting-thank you. A lot of older cities are named after ancient cites in the ‘Old World.’

  3. Timothy Allen says:

    Very interesting story. Dying near Sparta, Tennssee, ironic! I am interested in aincent Greece and Sparta was a military city where boys would be sent to the army no older than nine years old! Strange how you can find connections in everything…

Leave a Reply