Dr. William Henry Forwood was an Assistant Surgeon, US Army and with the First Battalion, 14th United States Infantry at Antietam in September 1862.

His photograph is from Vol. 2 of an Army Medical Department album now in the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.

He was briefly Brigadier General and Surgeon General of the Army in 1902 at the end of his long career. Here he is then, in another picture from the NLM.

His next-to-last Army post was as President of the US Army Medical School in Washington, DC. Here he is, front and center, with the Class of 1901-02. That’s Major Walter Reed (1851-1902) third from left in the row directly behind him.

This photo from an exhibit about Reed from the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

A digital copy of a photograph at the US Army Heritage & Education Center at Carlisle Barracks, PA.

Their description is CWP 100.15: First Lieutenant Daniel Mifflin Brodhead and First Lieutenant George [Keyports] Brady, 14th Regiment, United States Infantry, in military uniforms, Brodhead is standing with his left hand on Brady’s shoulder who is seated with legs crossed.

Lieutenant Brodhead led a Company of the First Battalion, 14th United States Infantry at Antietam on 17 September 1862. Lieutenant Brady was at 2nd Bull Run in August, but not in Maryland in September 1862.

18 year old John Parker Shelton was initially only wounded in the foot at Antietam on 17 September 1862, but while helping another soldier to the rear was hit again, in the spine, and died of his wounds two days later.

… no definite information concerning young Shelton was obtained by his sorrow-stricken family for nearly three weeks after the battle. As soon as the sad tidings were telegraphed, Mr. Simon G. Cheever, – an intimate friend of the family, — started immediately for the battle-field, using every exertion to find him, or learn aught of his situation; issuing descriptive posters and scattering them throughout the region, and making all possible inquiries but to no purpose; no trace of him was learned.

Nothing was ascertained until a letter was received from Surgeon S. G. Palmer, of General Howard’s Division , who wrote from head-quarters, in camp near Harper’s Ferry, Oct. 2 – the battle was Sept. 17th — stating that young Shelton died of his wounds at the hospital on Hoffman’s Farm in the rear of that portion of the battle-field where Sumner’s corps, — to which the Thirteenth Regiment belonged, — was engaged, and where about a thousand of the wounded had been brought; — and that he had been buried in a pleasant spot beneath a walnut tree, by the side of many others, about an eighth of a mile from the farm house; at the same time sending home what few effects were found upon his body.

When these facts were learned, his cousin, Mr. Stephen W. Shelton, and his brother-in-law, Mr. George W. Copeland, at once proceeded to the battle—field and brought his body home.


Notes

This fine photograph is a carte-de-visite from the David Hann collection which he shared on Shelton’s memorial on Find-a-grave.

The quote above is from Elbridge H. Goss’ The Annals of Melrose, County of Middlesex, Massachusetts in the Great Rebellion, 1861-65 (1868).

Captain William Renwick Smedberg was in command of Company F, First Battalion, 14th United States Infantry in combat at Antietam on 17 September 1862. He was seriously wounded in the Wilderness in 1864 and lost his right foot to amputation, but survived the war and served another 5 years in the US Army afterward.

Here are William (standing) and his younger brother Charles Gustavus Smedberg, Jr. (1841-1863), probably photographed in 1861. Charles in the uniform of the 7th New York State Militia, William as a Private in the National Rifles of Washington, DC, before either was commissioned in the Regular Army.

William Renwick and Charles Gustavus Smedberg were the youngest of the 11 children of wealthy New York import-export merchant Charles Gustavus Smedberg (Sweden 1781-1845) and his wife Isabella Renwick (1797-1867). Charles and Isabella are seen here in a pair of 1815 miniature watercolors, probably commissioned on the occasion of their wedding, now at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

John Sedgwick (1862)

31 January 2023

This fine photograph, in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, was made from an original Brady glass plate negative in the Frederick Hill Meserve Collection. It’s especially interesting to me because it pictures General Sedwick still recovering from his Antietam wounds – note the bandage visible on his hand and wrist.

For a particularly nice discussion about this picture, see a 2012 post by Ron Coddington on his Faces of War.

Like so many soldiers of the American Civil War, County Tyrone native Robert J. Robinson died, not from combat, but from disease. He succumbed to “congestive fever” at an Army field hospital at Sharpsburg, MD on 7 October 1862 and was originally buried on the field there.

His remains were moved to the new Antietam National Cemetery in about 1867, though misidentified as Robbins rather than Robinson, as seen on this page from the cemetery History (touch to enlarge).

Perhaps doubly sad, at his death Robinson was a veteran of about 7 years Army service but had not yet reached his 20th birthday. He first enlisted as a Musician in the 6th United States Infantry in New York City in November 1855 at age 12 and reenlisted at Fort Yuma, CA in October 1860.


Notes

The page image above is from the Antietam National Cemetery, Board of Trustees, History of Antietam National Cemetery (Baltimore: John W. Woods, Steam Printer, 1869) from an excellent online exhibit from Western Maryland’s Historical Library (WHILBR).

Max Weber (c. 1862)

28 January 2023

Brigadier General Max Weber, formerly of the Grand Duke of Baden’s army, led a Union Brigade in an attack on the Confederate position in the Sunken Road at Antietam on 17 September 1862, and was badly wounded in the right arm in that action.

His photograph is another relatively recent acquisition for the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs at the Library of Congress. Touch to enlarge.

I’d not seen this fine photograph of G.T. “Tige” Anderson before. It’s a recent (2021) addition to the now-massive Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs at the Library of Congress. It looks to have been taken when he was Colonel of the 11th Georgia Infantry in 1861-62.

Anderson commanded a brigade in D.R. Jones’ Division and fought in and near the West Woods at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862, and was appointed Brigadier General soon afterward. He was wounded in the thigh at Gettysburg in 1863 but survived the war to be surrendered at Appomattox Court House, VA in April 1865.

The Liljenquist photo is quite different from his late-war appearance, like this example, from a picture on his Findagrave memorial.

Although he was not an Antietam veteran, I owe former Regular Army Sergeant Francis B. Heitman at least a brief biographical examination and my humble thanks.

His massive work, the Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army from its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903, updated and published in 2 volumes by the US Government Printing Office in 1903, lists basic service information for every man who was commissioned an officer in the United States Army up to that year.

Dr Joseph Ruff Gibson, recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania medical school, was commissioned Assistant Surgeon, US Army on 16 April 1862, but it took a while for the formal paperwork to catch up with him. Here’s the official oath of office he returned to the Army Adjutant General in August 1862 from Harrison’s Landing, VA:

He saw his first action with the 4th United States Infantry at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

He continued in the Regular Army after the war and in 1870 was post surgeon at Fort Stanton in the New Mexico Territory. Here he is, at left, with others of the post in front of the Surgeon’s Quarters.

Left to right:

Dr. Joseph R. Gibson (Post Surgeon); Lieut. Orsemus B. Boyd (Co B, 8th Cav); Emil Fritz (Post Trader); Lieut. Casper H. Conrad (Co I, 15th Inf); Capt William McCleave (Co B, 8th Cav); Capt Chambers McKibbin (Co I, 15th Inf); Mrs. McKibbin; Lieut Richard A. Williams (Co B, 8th Cav and Post Adjutant); Mrs. Boyd; and Lawrence G. Murphy (Post Trader).

The trading post was reported to be the social center of the community, run by “Colonel Emil Fritz, veteran of the war, and Judge Lawrence G. Murphy, an ambitious merchant.”


Notes

Gibson’s written oath of office is from his papers among Letters Received by the Adjutant General, 1861-1870, in the National Archives, online from fold3. His signature was witnessed by Lt. J.H. Van Derslice, Adjutant, 14th US Infantry – who was also at Antietam in September.

The 1870 photograph is from one used on a bronze historical marker at Fort Stanton, captured for the HMDB by William F Haenn, who also provided the identification of the subjects.

That quote and much more about life at Fort Stanton may be found in Andrew Wallace’s Duty in the District of New Mexico: A Military Memoir [pdf], in the July 1975 New Mexico Historical Review.