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John J. Williams (American Civil War) facts for kids

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John Jefferson Williams
John J. Williams (last soldier to die in the American Civil War).jpg
Born 1843
Jay County, Indiana
Died May 13, 1865 (aged 21–22)
Cameron County, Texas
Alexandria National Cemetery, Louisiana
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Years of service 1863–1865
Rank Private
Unit 34th Regiment Indiana Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War

John Jefferson Williams (1843 – May 13, 1865) was a Union soldier and private in Company B the 34th Regiment Indiana Infantry. He was killed at the Battle of Palmito Ranch, the last land battle of the Civil War, and is generally recognized as the last soldier killed in the American Civil War.


William was born in the year 1843 in Jay County, Indiana, and joined the Union Army September 1863, probably in Anderson. He moved to Camp Joe Holt where his unit drilled before being put on duty in their field. His regiment spent most of the war on guard and Garrison duty in the Western Theatre, including New Orleans where he was stationed before his unit joined the army forming for the invasion and occupation of Texas in spring of 1865.

He first saw action in the Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas, where he died May 13, 1865.

Williams is generally recognized as being the last soldier to have been killed in action during the Civil War, although some sources make this claim for Corporal John W. Skinner, killed on 19 May 1865 in an ambush at Hobdy's Bridge, near Eufaula, Alabama.

He is buried in the Alexandria National Cemetery in Pineville, Louisiana. His grave can be found in section B plot 797.

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