I've already posted some info on Young in my 9th Texas Infantry thread, but thought he would also be a good addition to the Other Notable Bios forum.
William Hugh Young was born in Boonville, Missouri, January 1, 1838. He and his parents moved to Red River County, Texas, in 1841 and later to Grayson County. Young attended Washington College in Tennessee, McKenzie College in Texas and, between 1859 and 1861, the University of Virginia. After returning home to Texas in summer of 1861, he initially served as aide-de-camp to Governor Edward Clark. Young then raised a company in Grayson County for Confederate service, later organized as Company C of the 9th Texas Infantry (Maxey's) by fall of that year.
Mainly recruited from Northeast Texas, the 9th Texas was transported across the Mississippi River and would serve in the Western Theater as part of the Army of the Mississippi/Army of Tennessee throughout most of the war. Engaged at Shiloh in April 1862, the regiment lost 67 of the only 226 men engaged.
Following the Conscription Act, the regiment was reorganized at Corinth, Mississippi, on May 8, 1862. Young was then elected colonel by the men. At only 24 years old, he would command the regiment for the next two years.
Young had the misfortune of being wounded five or six times throughout the war:
1. He was wounded in the right shoulder at Stones River/Murfreesboro, Dec. 13, 1862, having two horses shot out from under him.
2. Received a flesh wound in the right thigh during the siege of Jackson, Mississippi, July 13, 1863, and was disabled for thirty days.
3. Was shot through the left chest at Chickamauga, presumably on Sept. 19, 1863, though he managed to recover and resume command of the regiment by February 1864.
4. Wounded in the neck and jaw at Kennesaw Mountain, June 1864.
5. Was shot through the left ankle and had his horse shot out from under him at Allatoona Pass, Oct. 5, 1864, later having his foot amputated.
In his first major battle commanding the regiment, Stones River/Murfreesboro, Young proved himself an able commander.
In the area later known as the "Slaughter Pen" the 9th Texas was separated from the brigade (Vaughn's) and ran up against the 35th Illinois. Charging forward to within fifty paces of the Illinoisans, their fire, combined with enfilading fire from the flank, staggered the Ninth for a second. Young knew that he had to drive the enemy to his front and get his men out of that cross fire. His horse shot, he then ran down the line from company to company, notifying each of his intention, then, grabbing the colors, ordered them forward with a shout, "both of which they did a la Texas," successfully driving back the 35th Illinois. With the subsequent advance of other troops to their right and left, the Federal line at the Slaughter Pen collapsed. Col. Young and his men's actions were later complimented by Gen. Frank Cheatham in his report.
The 9th Texas again suffered heavy losses, with 122 casualties out of the 323 engaged. They would never again rebuild their strength back up to 300 men.
On Jan. 21, 1863, the regiment was transferred from Cheatham's mostly Tennessee division to Brig. Gen. Matthew D. Ector's brigade of three other Texas regiments: the 10th, 14th, and 32nd Texas Cavalry (dismounted). Some units from other states also served in the brigade at various times.
During the Atlanta Campaign on July 27, 1864, Gen. Ector was wounded by a shell fragment in the lower left thigh, necessitating its amputation and permanently removing him from the field. Apparently, Young recovered from his latest wounds at Kennesaw Mountain in time to assume command of the brigade and was promoted to brigadier general on Aug. 15, 1864.
Following the close of the campaign with the Federal capture of Atlanta, Hood moved north against Sherman's supply line. Maj. Gen. Samuel G. French's Division, containing Ector's Brigade, attacked the fortified Federal supply depot at Allatoona Pass, Georgia, Oct. 5, 1864. This was the only major battle in which Young commanded the brigade.
Forming up in support of Cockrell's Missouri Brigade in an attack on a Federal strong point (Rowett's Redoubt), Maj. James H. McReynolds, acting commander of the 9th Texas, reported that the "men were addressed in a few brief words by our gallant brigadier-general (Young), telling us what was expected of us and directing us what part of the enemy's lines to charge."
Though partially defended by Federal troops armed with Henry repeating rifles, the Missourians and Texans (respectively known as Jakes and Chubs in the AoT) successfully charged and overran the Federal line after an intense few minutes of close-range combat, driving them into a small fort (Star Fort) beyond that. According to one Missouri officer, "The federals stood right up to their work, and we, for a few seconds, had what the boys call 'a —— of a time.' Our Texas friends in the second line—Ector's brigade—caught up and went over with us. As our boys swarmed over the parapet the bayonet was freely used by both sides, officers firing their pistols, and many throwing sticks and stones. This melee was quickly ended by the surrender of most of the defenders, very few of whom reached their large fort in the rear."
Despite their initial success, they could not capture the fort and reports of enemy reinforcements eventually compelled French to withdraw from the field. Young's horse was shot from under him at some point in the charge, but he continued to lead the men on foot until shot through the left ankle. Though he survived the battle, the ambulance carrying him was unfortunately captured by Federal cavalry near New Hope Church the following day, Young wounding up a prisoner. His foot was amputated in a Federal hospital and he was imprisoned at Johnson's Island, Ohio, for the remainder of the war, not released until July 1865.
After the war Young returned to Texas, moving to San Antonio where he was a successful attorney and real estate investor, as well as owner of the San Antonio Express. He and his father later organized a transportation company that hauled freight between San Antonio and Monterrey, Mexico. He also organized the Nueces River Irrigation Company and acquired considerable ranch and farm property. He married Frances M. Kemper in 1869, and they had one son, Hugh Hampton Young, born in San Antonio in 1870.
William Hugh Young died in San Antonio on November 27, 1901, and is buried in the Confederate Cemetery there.