Capt Wm J Bolton

18 March 2020

William J Bolton, Captain of Company A, 51st Pennsylvania Infantry was horribly wounded in action at Antietam: a gunshot went through both cheeks, breaking his jaw and carrying away some teeth. He was back on duty in January 1863 and was appointed Major of the regiment, and he was promoted to Colonel in June 1864. He was hit in the face again, by a canister round at the Crater near Petersburg, VA on 30 July 1864. He was honored by brevet to Brigadier General of Volunteers in March and mustered out with the regiment in July 1865.

Years later, in May 1881, the Galveston Daily News reported

Since then [his wounding at the Crater] General Bolton has felt pain and oppression in his neck, especially during damp weather. Yesterday he had occasion to stoop while attending to a customer in his store, and was immediately taken with a violent fit of coughing. Placing his hand instinctively over his mouth, something dropped into his hand. On removing the blood and mucous covering of the object he found it to be the painful little ball of Confederate cast-iron. It was covered with rust, weighed 273 grains Troy, and the surface was covered with sharp ridges.

His carte-de-visite (CDV) was sold by Cowan’s Auctions in April 2014.

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