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Federal (USV)


Samuel Emlen Pittman

Home State: Michigan

Command Billet: Assistant-Adjutant General

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Division, 12th Corps

Before Antietam

A Detroit bank employee before the War, he entered service as 1st Lieutenant, Company B, 1st Michigan Infantry on 24 September 1861.1,2

On the Campaign

He was General Williams' AAG on the Maryland Campaign, and of the 12th Corps when the General succeeded to command of it. He is probably best known as the man who authenticated Colonel Chilton's signature on the found copy of General Lee's Special Orders No. 191 on September 13th. Pittman had been a teller with the Michigan State Bank in Detroit, with which Army paymaster Chilton did business before the War.2

The rest of the War

He was formally promoted to Captain and AAG on 22 May 1863. He resigned from service on 7 September 1864.1

After the War

He was cited by Brevet in March 1865 for "meritorious service during the War" to Major and Lieutenant Colonel (Vols.).1 He was an original Companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), Michigan Commandery, and they published his paper on The Operations of General Alpheus S. Williams and his Command in the Chancellorsville Campaign in 1893.

In 1912 he was President of the association that raised funds and commissioned a statue to General Williams, which was installed in 1921 at Central & Inselruhe Avenues in Detroit.3

References & notes

For further information: Dew, Charles B., How Samuel E. Pittman Validated Lee's "Lost Orders" Prior to Antietam: A Historical Note, Journal of Southern History, Nov 2004, pp. 865-70


Date not known in MI


Date not known; burial in Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Pg. 794  [AotW citation 365]

2   Jones, Wilbur D., Jr., Giants in the Cornfield: the 27th Indiana Infantry, Shippenburg (Pa.): White Mane Publishers, 1997  [AotW citation 366]

3   Detroit Historical Society, and Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Historical Museums and Society, Published c. 2001, first accessed 05 January 2006, <>, Source page: /collections/vewebsite2/exhibit3/e30027b.htm  [AotW citation 367]