Lt. Wm H Humphrey

1 August 2020

William Harrison Humphrey enlisted as a Private in the 2nd United States Sharpshooters in October 1861 and was with the regiment at Antietam. He later remembered:

[Very early on 17 September] while crossing the [Miller’s] field shot and shell drop about us in a careless manner, we think. Some of the boys speak how careless they are while others thought they meant to be … I have often thought if it had not been for now and then a good joke cracked just in the nick of time it would have been hard to have kept the boys in line had someone put on a long face and moaned about the horrors

He was promoted through the ranks to First Lieutenant of his Company by November 1864 and transferred to the 4th Vermont Infantry in February 1865. He was seriously wounded by a shell at Petersburg, VA two months later and lost his right leg.

The picture on the right is held by the Vermont Historical Society. The other photograph shows him after his leg was amputated, with William F. Tilson (left), who was wounded by the same round as Humphrey. It’s from the Tilson Photograph Album, hosted online by Tom Ledoux.

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