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William Henry Palmer (October 9, 1835 – July 14, 1926) was an important staff officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War.


Palmer was born in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, he was a merchant there. When the Civil War began, Palmer joined the First Virginia Regiment as a private. He was wounded at Williamsburg in the arm. In October 1862, he joined the staff of Confederate General A.P. Hill. His shoulder was dislocated in the same friendly fire attack at Chancellorsville that mortally wounded Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. Palmer spent the rest of the War with Hill, eventually rising to be the chief of staff for the Army of Northern Virginia's Third Corps.

Historian James Robertson, Hill's biographer, called Palmer "polished, highly organized, and indefatigable" as well as "Hill's most trusted aide."

After Hill's death on April 2, 1865, Palmer served as an assistant adjuctant general (or AAG) on James Longstreet's staff. He was paroled at Appomattox.

After the War, Palmer returned to Richmond. He became president of an insurance company and a banker. He lived well into the 20th century. When he died in 1926 at age 90, he was buried in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery.

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