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Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick



Born: September 13, 1813

Cornwall, Connecticut

Died: May 9, 1864

Spotsylvania County, Virginia


1837: West Point Graduate

1837: 2nd Lieutenant

1849: Captain

March 1855: Major

1861: Colonel

August 31, 1861: Brigadier General

July 4, 1862: Major General

Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick

1837: West Point Graduate 24th out of 50

1837: Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in Artillery Branch

Seminole Wars

1846-1848L Mexican-American War

August 19, 1847: Battle of Contreras

August 20, 1847: Battle of Churubusco

Promoted to Major for the above battle

1849: Promoted to permanent rank of Captain and replaced James Duncan as commander of Battery A, 2nd U.S. Battery

March 1855: Accepted a transfer promotion to the rank of Major in U.S. Cavalry

Served in Kansas, in the Utah War and the Indian Wars

1861: Serving as Colonel and Assistant Inspector General of the Military Department of Washington

Missed the 1st Battle of Bull Run due to cholera

August 31, 1861: Promoted to Brigadier General

Commanded the 2nd Brigade of Maj. Gen. Heintzelman's division in the Army of the Potomac

Commanded the 2nd Division of the II Corps for the Peninsula Campaign

April 5 - May 4, 1862: Battle of Yorktown

May 31-June 1, 1862: Battle of Seven Pines

June 25-July 1, 1862: Seven Days Battle

June 29, 1862: Battle of Savage's Station

June 30, 1862: Battle of Glendale

July 4, 1862: Promoted to Major General

September 17, 1862: Battle of Antietam - II Corps Commander - Maj. Gen. Sumner sent Sedgwick's division against Maj. Gen. Stonewall Jackkson without the proper reconnaissance. Sedgwick's unit was routed and fell back with barely half his men. Sedgwick was shot in the wrist, leg and shoulder. This kept him out of the war till after the

May 3, 1863: 2nd Battle of Fredericksburg

July 1-3, 1863: Battle of Gettysburg - Much of his Corps was held in reserve

November 7, 1863: 2nd Battle of Rappahannock - Captured four field pieces, eight stands of enemy colors and 1,700 prisoners

May 4-June 24, 1864: Overland Campaign

May 5-7, 1864: Battle of the Wilderness

May 9, 1864: Shot under the left eye on the first day of Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. Was shot by a sharpshooter at approximately range of 1,000 yards

Sedgwick was the highest-ranking Union death during the Civil War

Maj.-Gen. John Sedgwick.

The death of this gallant soldier will cause a deep feeling of sorrow throughout the country. His fortunes had been so long allied with the Army of the Potomac, and his career so distinguished for gallantry and efficiency, that "Uncle JOHN," as he was universally known among the troops, was almost an essential to the well-being of that army. He was a native of Connecticut, graduated at West Point high in his class, served with distinction and honor for many years in the regular army, and at the outbreak of the war was, we believe, Colonel of the Fourth Regular Cavalry. He was among the early appointments to the position of Brigadier-General, and commanded a brigade, and subsequently a division, of troops, succeeding Gen. STONE on the upper Potomac, in the Fall and Winter of 1861-2. His command joined the Army of the Potomac when MCCLELLAN moved to the Peninsula, and the division was assigned to the corps of Gen. SAMNER. This division he commanded with distinguished success, up to the battle of Antietam, where he was wounded. Upon his recovery he was again assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and commanded the Ninth Army Corps for a short time, in the winter of 1863, and then succeeded Gen. SMITH in the command of the Sixth Corps, which he exercised with great ability up to the day of his death, participating in the second assault upon Fredericksburgh, the battle of Gettysburgh, the advance upon Mine Run, and the late desperate battle in the Wilderness, only to lose his life at the hands of a murderous sharpshooter, instead of falling, as he would have chosen to fall, in the heat of battle, inspiring his men by a brilliant example. To no one will his death come with deeper sorrow than to his command, who loved him, and the avenging arm of the noble Sixth Corps will strike surer and swifter blows upon the tottering rebellion as they remember the fall of their brave leader.


Boatner, Mark M. III.The Civil War Dictionary. New York: David McKay, 1967. p 730-731

Brady'S National Photographic Portrait Galleries, photographer. Portrait of Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick, officer of the Federal

          Army. [Between 1860 and 1864] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

John Sedgwick. 4 May 2022. web. 1 June 2022

Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick. New York: New York Times, May 11, 1864

Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State, 1964. p 430-431

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