On 22 September 1862 Brigadier General Samuel D Sturgis completed the after-action report for his Division (Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac) describing their role on South Mountain and at Antietam earlier that month.

One tiny detail from that report is the following mention of a man I’m sorry to say I’d not noticed before today:

One of my orderlies, Private John Dohmeyer, Company D, Fifth Cavalry, was severely, perhaps mortally, wounded by one of our own shells while at my side near the bridge.

That would be the Lower Bridge – now identified as Burnside’s – over the Antietam near Sharpsburg, MD.

The orderly’s wound was in fact mortal, though the General couldn’t have known that for sure as he was writing. Private Domeyer died at the Locust Spring field hospital on 23 September, the day after the report was submitted.


Being German-born, his name was probably mangled by various record keepers – at his enlistment, in the regiment, by General Sturgis, and at the hospital – so I’m not sure how it should be spelled. It is likely he was born Johann Domeyer, as that name appears in several Bavarian genealogies, so I’ve used the Americanized first name John with that surname on his record at Antietam on the Web.

I’d be glad to hear from anyone who can help me nail that down.

This incident also illustrates how near General Sturgis came to his own death on 17 September 1862; I wonder if that was the point.

The photograph here is in the collection of the Library of Congress and is titled Antietam, Maryland. Burnside bridge. [Photographed from a tree?]

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