Wounded and captured at Chancellorsville, Va. in 1863
War Period Signature With Rank
(1819-75) Graduated in the West Point class of 1840 with classmates and future Civil War generals, William T. Sherman, George H. Thomas and Richard S. Ewell. He fought in the Mexican War at the battles of Contreras, Churubusco and Chapultepec, earning the brevets of captain and major. Hays commanded a brigade of horse artillery in the 1862 Virginia Peninsular campaign and was an artillery commander with the Army of the Potomac in the important battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg earning promotion to brigadier general, Dec. 27, 1862. He commanded an infantry brigade of the 2nd Army Corps at Chancellorsville where he was wounded and captured on May 3, 1863. However, 2 weeks later he was delivered at Fort Monroe. On July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg, Gen. Meade appointed Hays to command the 2nd Corps after the wounding of Generals' Hancock and Gibbon, a command he held until Sept. 1863. From Nov. 1863, until Feb. 1865, Hays served as Provost Marshal, and he then commanded a division in the 2nd corps during the siege of Petersburg and the pursuit of Gen. Robert E. Lee towards Appomattox.
War Period Signature With Rank: 4 1/4 x 1 5/8, in ink, William Hays, Brig. Gen. Vols. Excellent. Very desirable.