William Thomas Poague was born on December 20, 1835 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He graduated from Washington College and was an attorney in St. Joseph Missouri when the war broke out.
Poague returned home to Virginia and became a Second Lieutenant in the Rockbridge Artillery. He fought with the battery in “Stonewall” Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign at the Battle of Kernstown. In April he was was promoted to captain and commanded the battery at the Battles of McDowell, the Seven Days, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Harpers Ferry and Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg.
In March of 1863 Poage was promoted to major and made second in command of McIntosh’s Artillery Battalion of theJackson’s Second Corps. When the Third Corps was formed at the end of May 1863 Poague was promoted to lieutenant colonel and given command of his own artillery battalion in the new corps.
Poague commanded his battalion at Gettysburg, Mine Run, Bristoe Station, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. Poague was wounded at Cold Harbor, but returned to the siege of Petersburg, and surrendered with Lee’s army at Appomattox.
After the war Poague returned to Rockbridge, where he restarted his legal career. He was a Trustee of Washington College (later Washington and Lee University) and a tresurer Secretary of the Board of Visitors for the Virginia Military Institute.
Poague married Josephine Moore. The couple had one daughter, Elizabeth.
Poague wrote his memoirs of the war as a personal history for his family. They were published long after his death as Gunner with Stonewall (available on Amazon – see ad below) and provide an interesting account of the war by a mid-level officer who wasn’t writing with an eye to the public or a personal vendetta.
Poague died on September 8, 1914, and is buried in Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in Lexington, Virignia.