William Nelson (1824-1862)

William "Bull" Nelson was born on September 27, 1824 in Maysville, Kentucky. He served as a midshipman and saw naval service in the Mexican War.

In 1861 he organized Union troops in Kentucky and became a major general of volunteers in the Union Army. He was the brother of Abraham Lincoln's friend, Thomas H. Nelson. In September 1861 Lincoln commissioned him brigadier general of volunteers.

Nelson commanded the 4th Division of the Army of the Ohio at Shiloh, during the advance on Corinth, and at Richmond, Kentucky, where he was wounded.

Nelson was named major general of volunteers in July 1862. In September 1862, at the head of the Army of Kentucky organizing the defences of Louisville, he was killed by one of his soldiers, Jefferson Columbus Davis, whom he had relieved of command. Davis was never punished.