Private William J. Kirkland was born ca. 1841 in Georgia.
In 1860 he was living at the home of his brother, Seth, near Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida. The census lists his occupation as laborer.
In 1861, he enlisted in Captain Rabon Scarborough’s Florida State Militia Company, the “Dixie Blues”, along with older brother Seth and brother-in-law Thomas J. Kenady.
William reenlisted in Captain Davidson’s Company on April 20th, 1862 at Gadsden County, Florida. He was left sick at Gadsden County, Florida when the company left the state, but had returned to it by June 30th, 1862.
William was left to act as a nurse with wounded at Big Hill, Kentucky on October 15th, 1862. He was captured by Union forces on October 29th; he was sent to City Point, Virginia on February 7th, 1863; from there to Fort McHenry, Maryland on February 11th, and from there to Fort Monroe on February 14th.
He was exchanged shortly thereafter, and returned to the company at Strawberry Plains, Tennessee. William was admitted to the hospital there, and died of pneumonia on March 22nd, 1863.
William’s place of interment is unknown. His nephew, Washington Lafayette Kirkland, born February 21st, 1861 placed a memorial marker to his uncle at Okapilco Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Quitman, Brooks County, Georgia.