William E. Cunningham mustered in as a private, into Company F, 41st TN Infantry on November 4, 1861. Records show that he was eventually promoted to Captain in December 1863.

Like so many of his comrades, he was captured at Fort Donelson and exchanged shortly thereafter. He was a POW at Camp Morton in Indianapolis until his exchange in August.

The 41st Tennessee saw major action in the Western theater during the Civil War, including: Fort Donelson, Holly Springs, Chickamauga, the Atlanta campaign, Franklin and Nashville.  The 41st TN also saw action at Gettysburg.

Cunningham’s record indicates he was likely personally engaged at Franklin and Nashville in late 1864.

At Franklin, the 41st Tennessee served in Strah’ls Brigade alongside the 4th-5th Tennessee, as well as the 19th, 24th, 31st, 33rd, and 38th Tennessee units.

William Eason Cunningham was the son of Rev. A.N. Cunningham, a Presbyterian minister. W.E. Cunningham was one of the original members of the Franklin KKK organization. He is buried at Rest Haven in Franklin.

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