Lieutenant, 2nd Maryland Artillery CSA, Baltimore Light Artillery. Resigned his position in a dispute over the treatment of civilians during the burning of Chambersburg, PA on August 9, 1864. He was ordered under arrest for "mutinous insubordinate conduct" by General Jubal Early and sent to the army stockade in Staunton Virginia. His letter reads:
"My sense of honor and rights as a man, and my duty as a Christian to my fellow beings, in review of the damning outrages perpetrated by our troops in the recent invasion of PA. , will not permit me longer to fill the post I now occupy, to take place immediately, and do not hesitate to say, after waiting a reasonable time for the acceptance of this resignation I will not serve another day in this army, feeling as I do, that the disgrace of being cashiered would not be so great to dishonor, as indirectly lending my aid to the robbery of villages and burning the houses of defenseless women and children."
William eventually reconsidered his actions and on August 22, and wrote General Samuel Cooper in Richmond:
"My letter was written under a misapprehension with regard to the burning of Chambersburg and under the influence of excitement and indignation at outrages committed in my native state, Maryland, and I acknowledge not such as my calmer moments would have dictated and I respectfully ask that it be overlooked."
The secretary of war subsequently dropped the charges and ordered William back to his unit on September 1, 1864. He was still trying to explain his actions as late as March 1865.