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Federal (USA)


William Henry Powell

(1838 - 1901)

Home State: District Of Columbia

Command Billet: AAAG 1st Bgde, Sykes' Div

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 5th Corps

Before Antietam

He enlisted as Private in the 4th Battalion, DC Militia on 17 April 1861, and was discharged 17 July. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th US Infantry 24 Oct 1861, and promoted to 1st Lieutenant on the day before the battle of Antietam.

On the Campaign

He was Acting Assistant Adjutant General (AAAG) of the First Brigade, Sykes' Division at Antietam.

The rest of the War

He served as Adjutant of the 4th Infantry 1 Mar 1862 to 29 Jan 1863. He won brevets to Captain (Antietam) and Major (Petersburg) for War service.

After the War

During the rest of his long military career he was made Captain 2 Feb 1865, Major of the 22nd Infantry 5 Aug 1888, Lieutenant Colonel of the 11th Infantry 4 May 1892, and finally, Colonel commanding the 9th US Infantry 27 June 1897. He retired from the Army 25 Apr 1899.

References & notes

The essentials of this officer's service are from Heitman's Register1.His gravesite is online from find-a-grave.

Powell is perhaps best known today as the prolific chronicler of the 4th Infantry, the V Corps of the Army of the Potomac, and other Army history. His books include:

Powell, William Henry, Powell's Records of Living Officers of the United States Army, Philadelphia: R. L. Hamersly, 1890 [online]

Powell, William Henry and Edward Shippen, editors, Officers of the Army and Navy (regular) who Served in the Civil War, Philadelphia: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1892

Powell, William Henry, The Fifth Army Corps (Army of the Potomac): A Record of Operations During the Civil War in the United States of America, 1861-1865, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1896 [online]

Powell, William Henry (compiler), List of Officers of the Army of the United States from 1779 to 1900, Embracing a Register of All Appointments by the President of the United States in the Volunteer Service During the Civil War, and of Volunteer Officers in the Service of the United States: June 1, 1900, Philadelphia: L. R. Hamersly & Co., 1900 [online]

Powell, William Henry, A History of the Organization and Movements of the Fourth Regiment of Infantry, United States Army, Washington, DC: McGill and Witherow, Printers and Stereotypers, 1871 [online]


09/21/1838; Washington, DC


11/16/1901; Sacketts Harbor, NY; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia


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. 803  [AotW citation 853]