William Caufield(c. 1841 - 1862)
Home State: Louisiana
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 5th Louisiana Infantry
Before the Antietam Campaign:
He was a 21 year old clerk in New Orleans when he enlisted in Company F, 5th Louisiana Infantry on March 7th, 1862 in New Orleans.
In the Antietam Campaign:
He was killed in action on 17 September 1862 at Sharpsburg. Captain Richardson, Company F later described it:
...Our brigade was ordered into a corn-field to the support of two batteries, which were firing from either flank. Shortly after obtaining our position, the enemy’s shells came so thick and fast that General Hays ordered us to lie down. Our Company was small, and we (the officers) laid down behind it. William, Lieutenant Caufield’s brother, was leaning immediately in his front. Nick was reclining on his elbow, conversing with Lieut. [James] Gubbins of our camp. Lieutenant Fitzpatrick, of Company B, by the side of him, was struck, and Nick remarked: “Fitz, you are hit.” Many of those surrounding us were uttering exclamations of “Oh,” etc., as they were shot, when, all at once, a shell from the enemy plunged through my poor camp, passing first through the body of Willam, then cut off the leg of John Fitzsimmons, then both feet of D[avid] Jenkins, and passed through my poor friend Nick, entering at the small of the back, coming out at the breast, tearing out and exposing his heart ... the thought rushed fast to my mind of the feelings of his poor mother and family on hearing of the loss of her two boys, the pride of her heart ... By the one shot I lost three killed – Lieutenant Caufield, William Caufield and John Fitzsimmons.
References, Sources, and other notes:
Basic information from Booth1, who lists him as William Canfield. The quote above from a letter by Richardson printed in the Memphis Daily Appeal on 11 October 1862, transcribed online by Stuart Salling on his Louisiana in the Civil War blog. His photograph and the spelling of his last name from Neill E. Goltz on facebook. Neill notes the photo came down through the family from William and Nicholas' younger brother Thomas and is the legacy of Descendants of the Caufield Family - including Goltz, Donnelly and Scarlett.
Death Date: 09/17/1862 Death Place: Sharpsburg, MD
1 Booth, Andrew B., Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, 3 Volumes, New Orleans: State of Louisiana, 1920, Vol. 2, pg. 241 [AotW citation 13195]
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