Richard Vinkler Richardson Bio-Sketch Print
Written by Craig Pippen, Camp 2205, Stem, NC   

Richard Vinkler Richardson was born on November 4, 1820 in Granville County, North Carolina. His parents moved him at a young age to Hardeman County, Tennessee. He received his education in Tennessee although any formal education is undocumented. Richardson received an education in law at an unnamed small college and was admitted to the Tennessee bar. He moved to Memphis to practice law in 1847. While in practice in Memphis, he met Nathan Bedford Forrest and Gideon J Pillow. Richardson purchased large amounts of land during this time and began to accumulate quite an estate. Richardson and a business partner named Henry Clark built a plank road from New Madrid to Clarkton, Missouri. This plank road was later burned during the War.

With the onset of the War, Richardson served under Gideon Pillow and organized the 12th Tennessee Cavalry and subsequently became the Colonel. He saw action at the Battle of Shiloh and the Siege at Corinth. He was placed under the command of Forrest in 1863. Richardson was appointed a Brigadier General in December of 1863. However, his promotion was not made official. It was returned at the request of Jefferson Davis in February 1864 despite being approved and duly confirmed by the Confederate Senate. Colonel Richardson was placed under the command of James R. Chalmers where he would remain until the end of the War.

After the end of hostilities, Richardson traveled abroad before settling in Memphis as a civil engineer helping to build levees and railroads. While on a trip to a prospective railroad site on January 5, 1870, he stepped outside of the hotel to take a drink and was shot by an unknown assailant with a shotgun. He died from his wounds a few hours later and remains were interred in the Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

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