BROWNE, William Montague (1823-1883) In the waning days of the Confederacy, William M. Browne suffered the humiliation of having his appointment as a brigadier general rejected by a 18 to 2 vote in the Senate due to the animosity against Jefferson Davis, with whom he was so closely associated. The Dublin native had served in the Crimean War with the English army before settling in Washington where he was an editor with two political journals. Going over the Confederacy, he obtained a staff position with the Confederate president and his assignments included: colonel, Calvary (1861); and brigadier general, CSA (November 11, 1864). His request for field serviced turned down, he served most of the war in Richmond. When Robert M.T. Hunter left the post of secretary of state on February 17, 1862, Browne was appointed ad interim. This lasted until Judah P. Benjamin took over the portfolio on March 18, 1862. Browne then resumed his duties in the War Department’s section dealing with organization until the fall of 1864. He was dispatched to Georgia to directly observe and report to Davis on Sherman’s advance to the coast. At one point he commanded a brigade of local troops. Continuing in his reporting role during the Carolinas Campaign, he was included in Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender. In the meantime he had been appointed and then rejected as a general officer. After the war he was a planter and educator.
Stewart Sifakis, “Browne, William Montague,” Who was Who in the Civil War (New York: Facts on File, 1988), 81.