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J. Sedgwick

J. Sedgwick

Federal (USA)

Major General

John Sedgwick

"Uncle John"

(1813 - 1864)

Home State: Connecticut

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1837;Class Rank: 24

Command Billet: Commanding Division

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Division, II Corps

Before Antietam

After West Point, he was assigned to the artillery, he fought in the Seminole War, was involved in the Trail of Tears episode, and earned two brevets in the Mexican War. In 1855 he transferred to the Cavalry, and served in "Bleeding Kansas," on the Mormon Expedition, and in Indian fighting in the West.

At the outbreatk of the Civil War he was Major, 1st US Cavalry. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, 2nd US on 16 March 1861, and Colonel of the 1st US Cavalry on 25 April. He was appointed Brigadier General (USV) 31 August 1861, and Major General 4 July 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded the Second Division in Sumner's Second (II) Corps. He was wounded in combat and relieved by BGen Howard in command of the Division.

The rest of the War

He was out of action, on account of his wounds, until after Fredericksburg. When he returned he was given command of the 2nd Corps. He was killed by a Confederate sharpshooter at Spotsylvania while personally positioning his Corps artillery. Reportedly, he had just said that "they couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."

After the War

"A monument to his memory, cast from the guns taken in action by the VI Corps, was erected at West Point in 1868."
(Encyclopedia Britannica)

References & notes

Sources: Heitman, Francis Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, Washington, US Government Printing Office, 1903,
McMahon, Martin T. (VI Corps Chief of Staff), The Death of General John Sedgwick, from Battles and Leaders of the Civil War - article posted online at Shotgun's Civil War Homepage; and
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 Edition - article online from Love to Know.

More on the Web

See his gravesite online from Find-a-Grave.
Named for the General, Sedgwick County, Kansas with the county seat at Wichita, was established on 26 February 1867, and Sedgewick County, Colorado, was officially created in April 1889.


9/13/1813; Cornwall Hollow, CT


5/9/1864 Spotsylvania CH, VA; burial in Cornwall Hollow, CT