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William H. Forney

William Henry Forney (November 9, 1823 - January 16, 1894) was a U.S. Representative from Alabama. He was the grandson of Peter Forney and nephew of Daniel Munroe Forney and the brother of John Horace Forney.


Forney was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina but moved with his parents to Alabama as a child. He was the older brother of Confederate Brigadier General John Horace Forney, first cousin of Confederate Brigadier General Robert Daniel Johnston and second cousin of Confederate Major Generals Robert F. Hoke and Stephen Dodson Ramseur. Forney pursued an education in classical studies, and graduated from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1844. He served in the Mexican War as a first lieutenant in the First Regiment of Alabama Volunteers. Upon returning from the War, Forney studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1848 and commenced practice in Jacksonville, Alabama. Forney served as a Trustee of the University of Alabama from 1851-1860. In 1859 and 1860, Forney served as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives.

Civil War[]

During the Civil War Forney entered the Confederate States Army in 1861 as a captain in the 10th Regiment Alabama Infantry, and was successively promoted to major, lieutenant colonel, colonel, and brigadier general. He served until the surrender at Appomattox.

Post-War career[]

After the War, Forney served as member of the State senate in 1865 and 1866. He was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth and to the eight succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1875-March 3, 1893). He served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Treasury (Forty-sixth Congress). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1892.

He was appointed by President Grover Cleveland to be a member of the Gettysburg Battlefield Commission and served until his death in Jacksonville, Alabama, January 16, 1894. He was interred in City Cemetery.

See also[]


PD-icon This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

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