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D.H. Strother

D.H. Strother

Federal (USV)

Lieutenant Colonel

David Hunter Strother

(1816 - 1888)

Home State: Virginia

Command Billet: Staff officer

Branch of Service: Staff

Unit: Army of the Potomac

Before Antietam

He trained as an artist in New York (with Samuel F.B. Morse) and in Europe before 1843, and worked as writer and illustrator in books and magazines. He covered John Brown's 1859 trial and execution for Harper's Weekly.

In June 1861 he volunteered as a topographer for the Federal Army at Martinsburg. In March 1862 he was appointed Captain and served as aide-de-camp on the staff of General Nathaniel Banks for his 1862 Valley Campaign. In June he accepted a commission as Lieutenant Colonel of the 3rd West Virginia Cavalry regiment, and served as Topographer on General Pope's staff for the battles of Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas.

On the Campaign

When Pope went West, Strother obtained appointment to General McClellan's staff, joining him at Rockville, Maryland, on 9 September.

The rest of the War

He was with McClellan until the General was relieved in November, at which time he returned to Banks' staff and saw action in Louisiana at Port Hudson and on the Teche Campain. He was in Washington, unattached, during the Gettysburg Campaign, and in July 1863 was promoted to Colonel of his regiment (though he never actually commanded it in the field). He was after on the staffs of General Benjamin Kelly, Franz Sigel - in action at New Market, VA - then (cousin?) David Hunter in the Valley of Virginia. He resigned from the army on 10 Sept 1864 when Hunter was replaced by Sheridan.

After the War

He was honored for his War service by brevet to Brigadier General of Volunteers in August 1865. He was Adjutant General of Virginia militia into 1866, thereafter returned to West Virginia and ran the family hotel, wrote and drew. He was US Consul to Mexico City 1879 - 1885 under Presidents Garfield and Arthur.

References & notes

Dates of rank from Heitman1, with further biographical information from his diary 2. The photograph above is from the Massachusetts MOLLUS collection at the US Army Military History Institute (USAMHI), as printed in Second Manassas.3

More on the Web

An online collection of more than 700 of his drawings is online from West Virginia University.


09/26/1816; Martinsburg, VA


03/08/1888; Charles Town, WV; burial in Green Hill Cemetery, Martinsburg, WV


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. 623  [AotW citation 897]

2   Strother, David Hunter, and Cecil D. Eby, editor, A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War: The Diaries of David Hunter Strother, Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1998  [AotW citation 899]

3   Woodhead, Henry, editor, Voices of the Civil War: Second Manassas, Alexandria (Va): Time-Life Books, 1995, pg. 86  [AotW citation 898]