Capt William Covill

16 July 2020

Captain William Covill, Jr of the First Minnesota Infantry was with his Company in action in the West Woods at Antietam on 17 September 1862, and later remembered

As I saw it the whole Division except our Regiment was broken into a mob, madly pressing to the rear followed closely by the enemies lines. Instantly on the breaking up of the 84th [82nd] N.Y. which was next on our left, Col Sully of our Regiment gave the order to about face and march to the rear, which we did double quickly, accompanied with a shower of cannister from a battery which had hurried up the pasture field …

By May 1863 he had been promoted to Colonel of the regiment and was seriously wounded leading them at Gettysburg in July. After mustering out he was elected to the state legislature, in November 1864, but left St. Paul to serve again in the field, as Colonel of the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery from April to July 1865. He was honored with the title of Brevet Brigadier General.

His photograph is in the collection of the US Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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