Major William Henry Eckels was born February 11, 1831, died in Philadelphia, February 13, 1896, and was buried at Harrisburg, Pa. He graduated at Dickinson College, class of 1855, after which he became the principal of the Harrisburg High School. While still a teacher he read law and later was admitted to practice. He practiced his profession in Harrisburg until October, 1861, when he became a Lieutenant in the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry. During the War of the Rebellion his services were chiefly in Kentucky and Tennessee, in the command known as the "Army of the Cumberland." Belonging to a cavalry organization, he was often employed on raiding expeditions under General Carter. He was in the engagements near Richmond and Lexington, and in the Battles of Perryville and Chickamauga, and
did staff duty with General Green Clay Smith, General Crooke, General Rousseau and General Stanley. Having attained the grade of Captain and with a record of duties
well done, he was honorably mustered out of service in November, 1864. He afterwards served for several years as paymaster's clerk and was himself appointed Paymaster in the army in March, 1875. In the discharge of his duties as Paymaster he was assigned to duty in St. Paul in 1886. In 1890 he was relieved from duty in the Department of Dakota and was ordered to Atlanta. Being already in failing health he was led to hope a change to a warmer climate would be beneficial. He was
placed on the retired list at sixty-four years of age in February, 1895. In his civil and military life he was always trusted, faithful and conscientious in the discharge of all his duties. He was modest and unassuming,considerate and kind-hearted. In acknowledgment of the esteem in which he was held, the following resolutions were adopted :
"Resolved, That the members of Minnesota Commandery of the Loyal Legion have learned with sorrow of the death of our esteemed companion, Major William H. Eckels, and they extend expressions of their deep-felt sympathy to the survivors of his bereaved family.
"Resolved, That a copy of this report and resolutions be forwarded to the family of the deceased."
On December 20, 1864, he was married to Mary Zinn and they had issue five children, viz.:
Charles Burd Eckels.
Frank L. Eckels.
William Henry Eckels.
George Zinn Eckels.
E Rankin Huston, Franklin Warren Houston, History of the Huston Families and Their Descendants, 1450-1912 with a Genealogical Record (Carlile,PA: Carlisle Printing Company, 1912), 155-157.