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W. Dwight
W. Dwight

Federal (USV)

Lieutenant Colonel

Wilder Dwight

(1833 - 1862)
Home State: Massachusetts
Command Billet: Regiment Lt Colonel
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 2nd Massachusetts Infantry


Before the Antietam Campaign:
After graduating from Harvard, he attended the Law School there (LL.B '55), and began to practice in 1857 in Boston. At the outset of the War he helped obtain authority for and organized a regiment of troops (April 1862) and was appointed Major of the 2nd Massachusetts on 24 May 1861.

In May 1862 he was captured in action near Winchester, Virginia. He was paroled and returned "within the Union lines" in June, and was officially exchanged, returning to duty just after the battle at Cedar Creek, in August 1862. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 13 June 1862.

In the Antietam Campaign:
He was mortally wounded in combat on 17 September, and died two days later at Boonsboro, Maryland.

References, Sources, and other notes:
Sources: Biographical data and sketch from "Gordon's Regulars" - the excellent 19 Massachusetts Infantry website of Lynne M. Kennedy. A painted portrait of LCol Dwight, from the Harvard Memorial Hall Collection is also hosted on that site. Heritage Auction Galleries sold a lovely drawing of him at auction in 2007. The photograph above is from a CDV offered by MQ Americana.

Notes: His brother William, West Point 1859, rose to be Brigadier General, and served in the West during the War. Two other brothers, Charles and Howard (killed 1863), also fought in the Federal Army during the War.

More on the Web:
See a fine article about the death of LCol Dwight, also from Lynne M. Kennedy [side note to the article: 2nd Mass Chaplain Alonzo Quint had a son (later author and poet) in 1863, and named him Wilder Dwight Quint.

Birth Date: 4/23/1833    Place of Birth: Springfield, MA    
College: Harvard College    Graduating Year: 1853    
Death Date: 9/19/1862    Death Place: Boonsboro, MD    Burial Place: Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plain, MA

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