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Federal (USV)

Private

Rufus Williams

(1843 - 1926)

Home State: Indiana

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 27th Indiana Infantry

Before Antietam

An 18 year old farmer in Fayetteville, he mustered as Private, Company D, 27th Indiana Infantry on 12 September 1861. He was slightly wounded by a "spent ball" in the back in action at Winchester, VA on 24 May 1862.

On the Campaign

He was again wounded, in the left side by a piece of shell in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862. He later wrote:

Eldridge was wounded in the thy & rist but is getting along pretty well. John A. Henshaw was killed. Laban is wounded in arm. Daniel is wounded in knee. George Phillips wounded in leg. Them 3 is at another hospital & I have not saw them. Joe Fiddler is killed. Christ[opher] Fiddler wound in hand. I cannot tell all that is wound. I was struck in the left side by a piece of shell but I soon got over it. I am waiting on Eldridge & will stay with him until he gets well. I think the boys will all get well. I will try to get Laben & Daniel with Eldridge where I can tend to all of them.

The rest of the War

He was treated at hospitals in Boonsboro and Frederick, MD and recovered at a Convalescent Hospital in Baltimore. He returned to duty in December 1862. He was wounded for the third time at Gettysburg, PA on 3 July 1863 and again, at New Hope Church, GA on 27 May 1864. He mustered out with his Company on 1 September 1864.

After the War

He farmed near Williams, Lawrence County to 1882, when he "decided they should get their children out of that part of the country on account of every one almost was related to each other". He sold his farm and moved to North Bend, Nebraska. He moved on to South Haven, KS in 1884. His wife Susan died there in December 1885, leaving him with 9 children ages 2 to 17. He went further west in 1889, part of the great "land rush" to Oklahoma. He returned to Indiana by the 1910 Census, but was living with his daughter Maggie on her pineapple plantation in southern Mexico by 1912. He and his family fled Mexico at the Revolution of 1916. In 1920 he was living with son Enos in Oklahoma, and wintered in St. Petersburg with his son Mozart ("Mose"), where he died in 1926.

References & notes

His service from Brown1 and the Historical Data Systems database. Hospital details from Steve Russell's Roster and the Patient List.2 Further information, including the quote from a letter of Rufus, from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of a post-War photo of him with some of his grown children.

His older brother Eldridge and their cousins Laban and Daniel Williams were all members of Company D during the War. Eldridge died of his Antietam wounds on 13 November 1862 in a hospital in Frederick, MD. Cousin Laban was killed at Gettysburg, PA on 3 July 1863 and Daniel died at age 33 in 1876.

Birth

03/09/1843; near Williams, Lawrence County, IN

Death

10/11/1926 St. Petersburg, FL; burial in Royal Palm South Cemetery, Saint Petersburg, FL

Notes

1   Brown, Edmund Randolph, The Twenty-Seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, Monticello, IN: E.R. Brown, 1899, pg. 589  [AotW citation 18521]

2   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <http://www.civilwarmed.org/explore/primary-sources/databases/frederickpatient/>, Source page: patient #745  [AotW citation 18522]