William Braden Schall moved from his Pennsylvania birthplace to Illinois just before the Civil War. He and three brothers volunteered for the army in 1861. He mustered into 11th Illinois Cavalry Regiment as a sergeant and soon fought at Shiloh and Corinth and subsequently at Vicksburg, Atlanta, and elsewhere. Formed by famous orator and author Robert Ingersoll, who commanded it, the regiment served under Generals Lew Wallace and Ulysses Grant.
William’s brother Andrew Jackson Schall was killed at the battle of Seven Pines/Fair Oaks, Virginia serving in 11th Pennsylvania Infantry. In 1867, his brother Albert succumbed to wounds received in three battles. After the war, William married Sophia Dunmire, whose brother served in his company and was killed at Vicksburg.