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Felix Tankersley was born February 4, 1843, in Livingston, Alabama. He enrolled in 1859 at the University of North Carolina and courted Fannie Adele Barbee while living in Chapel Hill . He left college to return to his native state in June 1861 to enlist as private in Company G of the 5th Alabama Infantry. Wounded at Seven Pines in 1862, Felix returned to Chapel Hill to recover. There he married Fannie on October 17.
When he rejoined the army in January, Felix received promotion to Second Lieutenant and a transfer to Company F of the 37th North Carolina Infantry. In his next battle at Chancellorsville, Felix was once more wounded. This time while recovering he managed to witness the birth of his son, William Little Tankersley, on August 25, 1863. He returned that fall with another promotion to First Lieutenant.
Having survived the intense combat of the Overland Campaign and 291 days of the prolonged campaign around Petersburg, Lieutenant Tankersley was once more seriously wounded on April 2, 1865 during the Breakthrough. Records suggest that he was also captured by the Federals but are not definitive.
Through August, Felix’s widow Fannie took out many advertisements in North Carolina and Virginia newspapers hoping to determine what happened to her husband.
Fannie eventually gave up her hopeless quest. Felix’s precise fate still remains a bit of a mystery. Piecing together the incomplete records, however, it seems likely that the wounded soldier died on April 6th.
Lieutenant Felix Tankersley will be one of twelve soldiers featured in the Memorial Day “Walk of Honor” tour at Pamplin Historical Park this Monday, May 25th.