Governor of Tennessee
(1788-1844) Born near Pittsburgh, Pa., he moved to Tennessee in 1810, established a nail factory in Nashville, and became a successful entrepreneur. Carroll became involved in the Tennessee militia, forming a company who voted him as their captain, and he was appointed brigade inspector by Major General Andrew Jackson in November 1812. Jackson described Carroll as "indefatigable" and noted that Carroll was "the best Brigade Major in the armies of the U.S.....and he ought and must be at the head of the regiment." Carroll displayed his leadership and courage during the Creek War of 1813-14, taking part in the battles of Talladega, Emuckfau, Enotachopco, and at Horseshoe Bend (Tohopeka) where he was wounded. In 1814, when President James Madison appointed Andrew Jackson a major general in the U.S. Army, William Carroll took his place as major general of the Tennessee Militia. At the battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Carroll led more than 3,000 troops with his men forming the center of General Jackson's line at the Rodriquez Canal, where they poured in accurate volleys that decimated Pakenham's advancing forces. Carroll was an important officer for General Jackson, proving his worth at New Orleans, and in the Indian battles preceding the Louisiana battle. Carroll also proved that well led and drilled militia forces could perform well against the British Regulars. In 1813, Carroll became involved in a quarrel with another Jackson subordinate, Jesse Benton, that culminated in a duel on June 14th of that year. Jackson initially tried to defuse the quarrel, but, unsuccessful, he agreed to be Carroll's second. In the duel, Carroll lost part of his thumb, and Benton was shot through the hip, but both survived. Benton's older brother, Thomas Hart Benton, was enraged after hearing Jackson had supported Carroll, and would later injure Jackson in a brawl in Nashville over the incident. After the war, Carroll's business enterprises continued to flourish and he became involved in steamship transportation, having the steamboat "General Jackson" built for him in Pittsburgh. William Carroll served as Governor of Tennessee, from 1821-27, and 1829-35. One of his sons, William Henry Carroll, was a Confederate Brigadier General during the War Between The States.
Signature: 4 3/8 x 2, large ink autograph, Wm. Carroll. There is a vertical cut in the paper that runs through the first "l" in Carroll that has been repaired on the reverse.