Kinzer, William T.

William T. Kinzer was born in Blacksburg, Virginia. He entered Dickinson College Grammar School in 1856 before becoming a member of the Class of 1860 later that fall. In 1857, Kinzer’s father died and, having lost his financial support, he left Dickinson to study and practice law in Virginia as well as the Nebraska territory. He joined the 4th Virginia Infantry in 1861 and received the ranking of first sergeant, corporal, and, by 1863, fourth sergeant. Kinzer saw action in Chancellorsville in May 1863 and Spotsylvania in May 1864. One month after his capture, on July 15, 1864, Kinzer died at Point Lookout Prison in Maryland. (By John Osborne and Brandon Rothenberg)
Life Span
Dickinson Connection
Class of 1860
    Full name
    William T. Kinzer
    Place of Birth
    Birth Date Certainty
    Death Date Certainty
    Sectional choice
    Slave State
    No. of Spouses
    Dickinson (Carlisle College)
    Attorney or Judge
    Confederate Army

    William T. Kinzer (Dickinson Chronicles)

    William T. Kinzer was born in Blacksburg, Virginia. In January 1856 he entered the Dickinson College Grammar School and studied there for a semester before entering the freshman class. As a student, Kinzer was a member of the Union Philosophical Society, the VP society, and the Good Templars Temperance Society. He also wrote several articles for his hometown newspaper.

    Kinzer’s father died early in the summer of 1857, thereby removing his means of financial support. At the end of the spring semester in 1857, Kinzer and a friend took a train to Hagerstown, Maryland and walked home to Blacksburg from there. He remained and began the study of law under Waller Staples, Esq., in nearby Montgomery.

    Kinzer moved to St. Stephens in the Nebraska territory in 1859. He did not enjoy a successful practice, and, falling gravely ill, he returned to Blacksburg after only six months. Kinzer resumed the practice of law there, but he enlisted in Company L, 4th Virginia Infantry on July 16, 1861.

    His military career was an eventful one. He was appointed a first sergeant on December 27, 1861 but was demoted the following April before being promoted to fourth corporal in August 1862, and fourth sergeant a year later. He was wounded at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863 and was captured at Spotsylvania on May 12, 1864. Kinzer died on July 15, 1864 at Point Lookout Prison, Maryland.
    John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., “William T. Kinzer,” Dickinson Chronicles,
    How to Cite This Page: "Kinzer, William T.," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,