By far the most noted Brantley Confederate Officer during the civil war was Brigadier General William Felix Brantley. We discussed the General in the 2sd and 4th report..
He began his military career in 1861 as Captain of "The Wigfall Rifles (Company D 15th Mississippi Infantry, later the 29th Infantry). He was rapidly advanced to the rank of Colonel, and commanded his regiment at the great battles of Murfeesboro and Chickamauga. For his part in the fight on Lookout Mountain, he was particularly commended by Colonel Walthall, the Brigade Commander. At Resaca, Georgia he led a charge on the enemy that was of notable gallantry, and his line three time repulsed the Federal assaults. At the battle of Ezra Church, near Atlanta, General Samuel Benton was killed, and Colonel Brantley took command of the brigade, which he retained with the promotion to Brigadier- General, to the close of the war. The General was assassinated at Winona, Mississippi on November 2, 1970. He is buried at the local Greensboro Cemetery.
General Brantley was born on March 12, 1830 in Green County, Alabama to William and Marinda (Jolly) Brantley. His father was the son of Malachi Brantley and Polly Thomas once of Hancock County, Georgia and previously of Edgecombe and Halifax Counties in N.C. Wm Felix and at least three of his brothers were highly educated for their day. He had began law practice in 1852 at Greensboro, Mississippi. His three known brothers were: Dr John Ransom Brantley, Arnold J Brantley (Mayor of Winona, Miss), Albert Horton Brantley (District Attorney). There is a report of another brother Edmund, who died in a gun dual in Tennessee. This is not substantiated. He had only one know sister. She was Missouri Brantley, who married Josiah Dunn. This area in Mississippi where this family lived held one of the worst reputations for violence in that day. Except for Albert, all these brothers died violent deaths. The general's brother, Dr John Ransom Brantley was killed in Gonzales, Texas in 1859 by the hand of David Balzell. On August 16, 1870, his brother Arnold J Brantley, mayor of Winona, was shot in cold blood, according to reports. The "Weekly Clarion" stated in November 1970 that it was the Generals attempt to bring to justice the party responsible for the murder of his brother, that led to his own. None of the assassins were every apprehended. Even his nephew William Dunn, daughter to his sister Missouri, was shot and killed in Greensboro, by a man named Story in 1872. The Clarion article described General Brantley as being possessed of remarkably sound judgement, a man who allowed no danger to turn him from the right or left, once his mind was made up.
On November 2, 1870, the General was ambushed about one half east of Winona. He had been warned of the danger of his travel from Winona to Greensboro. He stated that he intended to go wherever his business called him.
His grave with his image chiseled in his tombstone is in the Greensboro, Mississippi Cemetery. He had married first Cornelia and later Julia. Of all his children, only one daughter is known to live to adulthood.