- Gene "Sweet Willie" Ingram
William was born in 1832 in the hills of Buncombe County, North Carolina. He spent his youth working on the family tobacco plantation. He was well-educated, a talented musician, and even a skilled swordsman in the Spanish art of fencing with the foil and rapier. Considered quite a cavalier gentleman about town, he had a taste for the finer things: a good cigar, a strong steed, fine clothing, Tennessee bourbon, the new found sport of base ball, and beautiful ladies.
During the summer of 1862, the 60th North Carolina Infantry Regiment recruited men in Asheville and the counties of Madison, Buncombe, and Polk, and a small number were from Tennessee. William joined the regiment where his skills served him well on the battlefield. The 60th fought at Stones River, served in Mississippi, and participated in the campaigns of the Army of Tennessee from Chickamauga to Bentonville.
After his service, William returned to Chattanooga, Tennessee. He had passed through the Scenic City several times during his service and was always taken aback by the beautiful vistas and courteous nature of the Southern Belles. Possessing a distinct southern charm and sophistication that holds the attention of those precious Southern Belles, it leaves no question as to why he carries the name “Sweet Willie”.
William “Sweet Willie” Ingram is an original member of the Lightfoot Club of Chattanooga. He displays strong, steadfast hands and a quick willow that packs a wallop. “Sweet Willie” always comes to the aide of his fellow ballists with his quick wit or a sturdy drive of the onion into the deep weeded pasture.