2 August 2006
As many others have observed, one of the best things about the Web is the great range it covers, and new contacts it brings. What ever else it is, AotW is a honeytrap – drawing people worldwide with interest in the battle. A small but impressive minority of these visitors have something to contribute. It’s always a thrill to hear from them.
Once such Internet-friend, Mr John Jackson, has been doing marvelous work in researching and documenting Kansans and Kansas in the Civil War. He has twice now suggested obituaries for Antietam soldiers from among his boys, both also Medal of Honor holders.
A great huzzah for Mr Jackson!
Last month he pointed me to the musically named Orpheus Saeger Woodward. This week he’s introduced me to Henry Seymour Hall.
Lt. Col. H.S. Hall, c. 1864
Hall was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1891 for bravery on two occasions during the War: for continuing to lead his company in the attack while wounded at Gaines’ Mill (June 1862) and for service in rallying troops at Rappahannock Station (November 1863).
From a farming family in east-central New York state, he was 25 years old and in his final year at Genesee College (later Syracuse University) when War began in 1861. He organized a Company of fellow students–later Co. G–and enlisted with them in the new 27th New York Infantry as Private in April that year. He was almost immediately appointed 2nd Lieutenant and served with the 27th on the Peninsular Campaign. He was promoted to Captain in command of the Company to date from April 1862. It was at that rank that he fought at Crampton’s Gap, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.
He was honorably mustered out as the 27th Infantry’s term of service expired on 31 May 1863, but was back in service just over two weeks later, appointed Captain in the 121st New York Volunteers on 16 June.
In May 1864 he left to accept a commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the new 43rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops. He was severely wounded in action at the Crater, near Petersburg, on 30 July, losing his right arm.
While recuperating, he served as a mustering officer in Washington, but was back with the 43rd at Richmond by 3 April 1865. He was also with them at Brownsville, Texas under Sheridan, then on independent duty at Galveston until returning to Washington and mustering out of the Army on 13 February 1866.
He had been honored, in March 1865, by brevet to Colonel and Brigadier General of Volunteers for his exceptional War service.
Immediately after the War he returned briefly to New York, but soon moved to a farm he’d bought in Carroll County, Missouri, where he was also active in local politics. Some time later he was in Lincoln, Nebraska, and in 1888 he moved for the last time to Lawrence, Kansas where he lived his last 20 years.