Before the Civil War, William C. Falkner was one the young men vying for leadership in the town of Ripley and the surrounding countryside. It was flawlessly symbolic of his rise in the social hierarchy that he began the war as a captain, ended it as a colonel, and aspired to be a general. During the Civil War, William C. Falkner helped organize the Magnolia Rifles, which joined the other Mississippi companies to form the Second Mississippi Volunteer Regiment. Falkner subsequently won election as its colonel. Falkner continued his operations until the fall of 1862 with steady losses and no success. In late November, the Union cavalry seized Ripley, and they almost caught the colonel of the First Mississippi Partisan Rangers. Colonel Falkner came out of the war neither conquered nor impoverished.
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