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Person
J. Saunders
J. Saunders

Federal (USA)

Captain

John Saunders

(1825 - 1862)
Home State: Massachusetts
Command Billet: Commanding Company
Branch of Service: Sharpshooters
Unit: Massachusetts Sharpshooters, First Company

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Before the Antietam Campaign:
A carpenter then living in Salem, Massachusetts, he raised a company of men and was commissioned Captain of the 1st Company, Sharpshooters on 2 September 1861 (mustered on the 3rd).

In the Antietam Campaign:
He was killed on September 17th leading his Company in combat near the West Woods. They were attached to the 15th Massachusetts Infantry, part of Sedgwick's Division, Second Army Corps.

References, Sources, and other notes:
Basic service information from Massachusetts Soldiers1, with genealogical details from Susan Harnwell and contributors at her superb 15th Massachusetts Infantry site. The photo here is from a group shot of 23 members of the Company from about March 1862, hosted on Ms Harnwell's site. A copy was sold in a collection of Captain Saunders effects - including his M1860 Colt Army revolver, telescope sight, tactics manual - by the Horse Soldier Antiques in Gettysburg.

Alden C. Ellis Jr. published a study of the 1st and 2nd Companies in The Massachusetts Andrew Sharpshooters: A Civil War History and Roster (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012). In it he makes a case that Martin Strong, a Private in his Company intentionally shot Captain Saunders at Antietam in retaliation for some harsh discipline the Captain had administered. Strong was also killed at Antietam.

Birth Date: 06/17/1825    Place of Birth: Ashburton, Devon, ENGLAND    
Death Date: 09/17/1862    Death Place: Sharpsburg, MD    Burial Place: Salem, Massachusetts



Notes

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. 211  [AotW citation 2692]



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