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W.S. King

W.S. King

Federal (USV)


William Shakespeare King

(1810 - 1895)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Medical Director

Branch of Service: Medical

Unit: 3rd Division, I Corps

Before Antietam

He was appointed Assistant Surgeon, US Army on 29 July 1837, and served in Florida during the Seminole War. He was promoted to Surgeon (Major) on 29 August 1856 and was in Mexico. At the outbreak of Civil War he was serving in New Mexico. He was appointed Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac and returned East to report to General McDowell shortly before the First Battle of Bull Run. He was relieved of that post by Surgeon Carl Tripler in August 1861, who was replaced by Surgeon Letterman in July 1862.

On the Campaign

He was Medical Director of the 3rd Division, First Army Corps at Antietam.

The rest of the War

He was Medical Director of the Department of the Susquehanna to October 1863, of the Ohio until March 1864. He was Superintendent of Hospitals in Cincinnati, OH to December 1865.

After the War

He was honored by brevets to Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel on 13 March 1865 for faithful and meritorious service during the War. Afterward, he continued in US Army Service, being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and Surgeon on 26 June 1872 and to Colonel on 17 March 1880. He retired on 30 June 1882 after 45 years in uniform.

References & notes

Service dates from Heitman1, with further details from Mary C. Gillett's The Army Medical Department, 1818-1865, from the Center of Military History, US Army and a profile in University of Pennsylvania Men who Served in the Civil War, from its Medical Department (1900). His life dates are from his gravestone. His photograph from one in the National Library of Medicine2.


12/28/1810; Chester County, PA


8/2/1895; Asbury Park, NJ; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


1   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 600  [AotW citation 12146]

2   US National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Division, Images from the History of Medicine, Published 2004, first accessed 01 February 2014, <>, Source page: /luna/servlet/view/search?q=B016408  [AotW citation 12147]