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J. W. Hofmann

J. W. Hofmann

Federal (USA)

Lieutenant Colonel

John William Hofmann

(1824 - 1902)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 56th Pennsylvania Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

John Hofmann was a retail shopkeeper, and he served in the Pennsylvania militia.

On the 1st of September 1861, Sullivan A. Meredith, of Philadelphia, who had been Colonel of the Tenth (three months') Regiment, was appointed Colonel by Governor Curtin. Soon after J. William Hofmann, and Thomas S. Martin, of Philadelphia, both of whom had served in the Twenty-third (three months') Regiment, and had, for several years, been members of the Washington Grays, an artillery company, were appointed Lieutenant Colonel and Major, respectively. Subsequently, Major Martin was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Eleventh Regiment, and John B. Smith, of Pittston, Luzerne county, was appointed Major.

On the Campaign

Initially in command of the 56th Pennsylvania Infantry, he succeeded to command of the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division, I Corps when Col Wainwright was wounded on September 14.

On the 17th, the Brigade was held in reserve north of the Poffenberger farm to protect Hooker's I Corps artillery.

The rest of the War

Hofmann mustered out with his Regiment, July 1, 1865.

References & notes

Source: 56th Infantry from the Pennsylvania in the Civil War site (quoting Bates). See a fine online biographcal sketch from John David Hoptak's excellent blog.

The General's gravestone [at findagrave] spells his last name Hoffman. In a reply to a question about this, Mr. Andy Waskie explained:

"Yes, I was the one who obtained his grave marker and we placed it and dedicated ca. 10 years ago [1998], as were many other grave similarly marked over the years. I checked his application to the MEADE Post #1, GAR signed in his own hand and he spelled his name: J.W. Hoffman."


2/18/1824; Philadelphia, PA


3/5/1902 Philadelphia, PA; burial in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA