William Montague Browne was born in County Mayo, Ireland on 07 July 1827. His first military experiences came during the Crimean War (1854-1856), while a soldier in the British Army. After immigrating to the U.S., he became a newspaper editor.

     During the War Between the States, he served as Secretary of State (Ad Interim) from 01 February 1862 to 17 March 1862, and once Judah Philip Benjamin (06 August 1811-06 May 1884) took over the position, he was made Assistant Secretary of State on 21 March 1862. His term in the second post was also short lived, for on 19 April 1862, he was appointed Aide de Camp to President Jefferson Davis (03 June 1808-06 December 1889) and commissioned with the rank of colonel in the cavalry. Remaining attached to Davis' staff until war's end, in early 1864 he was sent to Georgia to organize conscription efforts and later commanded a brigade in defense of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. Browne was brevetted to Brigadier General on 11 November 1864, but the promotion was never confirmed by Congress.

     Following the war, he worked as a lawyer, writer, and was Professor of History and Constitutional Law at University of Georgia in Athens, Clarke County, Georgia. Browne died 28 April 1883 in Athens, and is buried in Oconee Hills Cemetery.

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