WILLIAM FAMILY GIFT OF THANKS - BAPTISMAL FONT
This granite baptismal font was given to the St. James Episcopal Church, 208 N. 4th St, by the family of Brig. General Thomas Williams commanding officer of the occupying Union forces of Baton Rouge, 1862, in appreciation for their kind treatment of Williams when he was mortally wounded and later in his burial [excerpt from a book], in the Battle of Baton Rouge Williams was shot through the chest at killed. His remains were taken back to Detroit, where they were laid to rest in Detroit's Elmwood Cemetery. General Williams attended St. James during his time in Baton Rouge. I guess it was a matter of the church body taking care of a parishioner. After General Thomas Williams was slain the name of the U.S. Army Post (from garrison to today's only remaining powder magazine) was renamed Fort William.
While the dead and wounded Union soldiers lay in the streets of Baton Rouge after the battle, crying for pain and water in the heat of August, so hot, thirsty, and hurting from their wound, the citizens had no mercy on them and they said the most inhuman and cruel things to them. At least they could have moved them into the shade and given them water, but after their commander ordered the burning of one third of the town (homes and businesses) to have a better line of fire for the gun boats I guess they couldn't find mercy in their hearts to forgive.
I searched for the font because I had read about it, so I was glad to have found it in St. James church. It's still there and they still use it. The church that first used the font was a previous existing building, because the beautiful church facility in use today was only build in 1995.
I want you to catch the great historical significance of this granite font - it was given to a Civil War era church in Baton Rouge, by the Williams family of New York State (I believe) because the good clergy and people of the church cared for an attendee to their church (Williams), in life (wounded), and in death, namely, the commanding General of the U.S occupying forces in Baton Rouge, and it is still there and in use (different church building though). See post on St. James Episcopal Church here.
MAJOR 5TH US ARTILLERY
BRIG GENERAL US VOL