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Federal (USV)


Samuel Elliot Viall

(1842 - 1864)

Home State: Massachusetts

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 19th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

A 19 year old shoemaker in Lynn, he enlisted in Company K, 19th Massachusetts Infantry on 13 August 1861. He was wounded in the chest in action near Glendale, VA on 30 June 1862.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was appointed Corporal and transferred to Company E, dates not given, and was again wounded, in the arm in action at Gettysburg, PA on 3 July 1863.

First Sergeant Viall of Co. E, comes running, swinging his musket over his head, crying, "Come on! Come on! they're running!" Suddenly he drops his musket and, clasping his arms across his breast, runs to the rear with a severe wound in the arm. "There's a brave man" remarks Major Rice, and then tells his companions to "hurry up" with their loading.
He reenlisted 20 December 1863 and was appointed First Sergeant. He was wounded for the third time, mortally, at Spottsylvania, VA on 24 May 1864.
The rebel color [of the Henrico (VA) Artillery] mentioned herewith was taken by 1st Sergeant Viall, who was badly wounded. He offered it to Col. Rice, who declined to take it and ordered him to go to the rear with it. As he was making his way to the rear, as ordered, he was again wounded and the color was taken from him by a staff officer.
He died of wounds at the Mt. Pleasant Hospital, Washington, DC on 3 June 1864.

References & notes

Service information from Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines 1 and the History,2 source of the quotes above. Details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. The flag he captured is now in collection of the Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond.


07/24/1842; Danvers, MA


06/03/1864 Washington, DC; burial in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, MA


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 2, pg. 487  [AotW citation 17939]

2   Waitt, Ernest Linden (compiler), History of the Nineteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1865, Salem (MA): The Salem Press Co., 1906, pp. 146, 231, 314  [AotW citation 17940]