Turner Gustavus Morehead(1814 - 1892)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 106th Pennsylvania Infantry
Before the Antietam Campaign:
He first served in a Philadelphia Militia company called the Washington Grays in 1835, becoming Captain by the start of the Mexican War. In May 1846 he was mustered into service as Captain in the Pennsylvania First Regiment of Foot, and saw combat service in Mexico.
He was Colonel, before the Civil War, of the Philadelphia Light Guard, a Pennsylvania militia regiment formed in the summer of 1857. They were mustered into Federal Service as the 22nd Pennsylvania Volunteers in April 1861 for 3 months, and saw guard duty at Baltimore - Morehead still in command.
In late Fall 1861Morehead helped raise and was appointed Colonel of the 106th Pennsylvania Infantry. They were at Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill earlier in 1862.
In the Antietam Campaign:
Colonel Morehead and his men were part of the disaster that destroyed Sedgewick's Division of Sumner's Second (II) Army Corps near the West Woods on 17 September.
"As the 106th Pennsylvania retreated northward across the open fields between the West Woods and the Hagerstown Pike, a bullet struck Colonel Morehead's horse, sending both mount and rider sprawling to the ground. Morehead was pinned under his horse when three members of the regiment, seeing his predicament, returned to free him."
"Badly bruised, the Colonel was making his way northward when he realized he had lost his sword. Those by his side tried to persuade him not to return for the cherished possession, but his reply was 'Yes I will, that sword was given to me by my men and I told them I would protect it with my life and never see it dishonored, and I am not going to let them damned rebels get it.' "
"Morehead rushed back to where his horse lay and recovered the sword. The enemy, by then only yards away, ordered Morehead to surrender. He refused and fled northward amid a volley of enemy rifle fire. None of the bullets hit its mark, and the Colonel made it safely to friendly lines in the vicinity of the Miller house."
"Eventually the 106th Pennsylvania managed to regroup and spent the remainder of September 17 supporting artillery batteries in the East Woods ..."1
The remainder of the War:
He was at Fredericksburg in December 1862, but was not active during 1863 due to illness. On 4 April 1864 Colonel Morehead resigned his commission, and command of the 106th went to Lt Colonel Curry (kia at The Wilderness 12 May 1864). He was cited by Brevet to Brigadier General (U.S.V.) 13 March 1865 for his service.
After the War:
He was later in the wholesale shoe business in Philadelphia, and was appointed Weigher of the Port there. He lived his last decade in Asbury Park, NJ.
References, Sources, and other notes:
Biographical details from Frassanito 2 and Bates 3. The image of Colonel Morehead above is from a photograph taken by Alexander Gardner on the battlefield of Antietam on 19 or 20 September 1862, now at the US Library of Congress 4.
|Birth Date: 3/18/1814 |
Death Date: 5/28/1892 Death Place: Asbury Park, NJ
1 Selection is quoted from Frassanito, who cites Ward as source.
2 Frassanito, William A., Antietam: The Photographic Legacy of America's Bloodiest Day, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1978, pp. 186-191 [AotW citation 47]
3 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871, 106th Pa Infantry [AotW citation 46]
4 US Library of Congress, Selected Civil War Photographs Collection, Published c 1998, first accessed 01 January 1998, <http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/cwphome.html>, Source page: Gardner, Stereo #586 [AotW citation 48]
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