October 5, 1939
Gen. W. C. Stuart Is Commander of the La. Division of U. C. V.
The Louisiana commander of the United Confederate Veterans sits bedside his radio these days, eagerly absorbing every word of the European war news. But the names Chamberlain, the Rhine, Poland, Hitler — they mean little to this old man. WAR, to him, means Jefferson Davis, the wide Mississippi, Vicksburg and long columns of men in gray. he thinks of war, not in terms of airplanes and bombed cities or tanks, but of men and boys, in uniforms of gray and blue, in close-quartered, hand to hand combat; and he remembers the nights he, himself, spent along the Mississippi as a scout. Thus Major General W. C. Stuart, of Farmerville, commander of the Louisiana Division of the U. C. V., watches the word go marching into another bloody war.
Only seven years younger than the town of Farmerville, William Clark Stuart was born on Dec. 13, 1846, in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, the third son of B. C. and Martha Stuart’s eleven boys and one girl. He received his elementary education near his father’s plantation, and in 1863, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Confederate Army Serving as a scout with Bransford’s battalion Company eight of the Mississippi scouts and guards, Stuart saw active service on both sides of the Mississippi River from the time of his enlistment until he was granted a military parole at Terry, Miss. on May 6, 1865, a month after the surrender of General Lee.
Thus soldier Stuart was released from military duties and returned to Wilkinson county to resume the duties of planter. Stuart, in charge of his uncle’s plantation. After a few months in Mississippi, he went to Baton Rough and entered a private school, only to return shortly to his home with a siege of sickness that lasted for two years. Finally recovering from the illness, young Stuart took over his father’s plantation and at about the same time married Miss Sarah Ellen Glass. Of this union six children were born, three of whom are now living, Leon and Dorsey of Rocksie, Miss. and Mrs. W. R. Whitaker, of Farmerville, with whom Mr. Stuart has made his home since moving to Louisiana in 1906. Proud is the veteran, also, of his four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Today, 74 years after the close of the Civil War, Major General Stuart enjoys unusually good health for all of his 93 years (or 92 1/2, as the General puts it). When asked if he had ever been on a diet, he seemed not to understand the word; then he replied strongly, “Certainly not! I’ve always eaten what I wanted to; that is, if it was good. If it’s not good, I don’t eat it.”
” I drink coffee and milk and tea,” he added, “even Coca-Cola.”
This last Confederate Veteran of Union Parish is the recipient of four commissions. He was named a major in 1924, colonel in 1925, adjutant general in 1937, and the most recent, that of major general came in 1939, together with an appointment to the presidency of the state board of pension commissioners.
One of the bright spots int he General’s year is his annual meeting with “Uncle Alf” Fuller, of Lincoln Parish. The two are the only surviving members of Louisiana Camp No. 7.
In August General Stuart attended the U. C. V. general reunion at Trinidad, Colorado. He reports that he enjoyed both the trip and his stay at the encampment immensely. Since the close of the war, General Stuart has attended 38 of these annual reunions. He declares that he likes the railroads better than any other mode of transportation. Recently he made a several hundred mile trip by motor bus and arrived home “shaken up right smart.”