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A.B. Chapman

A.B. Chapman

Federal (USA)

Major

Alford B Chapman

(1835 - 1864)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 57th New York Infantry

 

see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

Prior to the war Alford had been a member of the Seventh New York Militia for eight years. With the call for troops he enlisted, August 10, 1861, as a Sergeant in the Seventh Regiment. After the ninety days he was discharged and began to raise a company which was to become Company A of the 57th New York Volunteers. On September 12, 1861 Chapman became Captain, Company A. In August 1862 he was promoted to Major following the promotion of Philip Parisen to Lt. Colonel.

On the Campaign

At the battle of Antietam he took command of the 57th after Lt. Col. Parisen was killed leading a charge from horseback while carrying the regimental colors.

The rest of the War

Chapman was promoted to the position of Lt. Col. on October 27, 1862 with rank from September 17, 1862. Alford became the regimental commander of the 57th New York with the promotion of Colonel Zook to 3rd Brigade commander. During the laying of the pontoon bridges at Fredericksburg, the 57th was detailed to protect the engineers. There was no cover for the 57thas they positioned themselves along the river bank while the engineers continued construction. Chapman dismounted his horse and was quickly cautioned by an orderly that he should not expose himself so unnecessarily. Moments later Chapman was struck in the chest and from the location all assumed it to be fatal. Fortunately the ball had struck his pocket which contained a packet of letters and a small blank book which reduced the force left as the ball finally reached his body. He recovered from his wound in time to lead the brigade at Chancellorsville and again at Gettysburg. He was promoted to Colonel with rank from April 24, 1863 with the commission being signed July 20, 1863.

Prior to going into battle on May 5, 1864, Chapman had spoken with General Hancock indicating that he thought this would be his last battle. Alford was found on the battlefield, lying on his back, clutching a note he had scrawled to his father, "Dear Father: I am mortally wounded. Do not grieve for me. My dearest love to all. Alford.".
(quoted from Bradley Eide's bio of Chapman on the GDG site - his original sources listed there)

References & notes

The photograph here is from the Massachusetts MOLLLUS Collection at the US Army Military History Institute.

Birth

8/1/1835; New York City, NY

Death

5/5/1864 The Wilderness, VA; burial in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY