William Alexander McQueen was born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina. His father was the pastor of a local Baptist church.
Lt. McQueen's bronze 12 pound field howitzer was one of five Confederate cannon that went forward in support of Pickett's Charge. He was a distinguished officer and a veteran of many battles in Virginia including the battle of Gettysburg with Garden's Battery of the Palmetto Artillery.
His was one of the two Confederate Artillery used at the Battle of Dingle's Mill. He was home at the time, recovering from a serious wound in the side from a battle at Darbytown Road, near Richmond, Virginia, on October 7, 1864. He was wounded at Dingle's Mill, as well, with a shot to the shoulder.
For his acts of unselfish heroism and gallantry in Garden's Battery, Palmetto Light Artillery he was posthumously awarded the Confederate Medal of Honor by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.