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Federal (USV)


Peter J. L. Searing

(1842 - 1915)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 9th New York Infantry

Before Antietam

Age 19 years. Enlisted April 23, 1861 at New York City; mustered in as Private, Company D, May 4, 1861, to serve two years. He was promoted Corporal on September 2, 1861 and Sergeant, June 19, 1862.

On the Campaign

[On 17 September]

Many of the men, flushed with enthusiasm and the intense, almost savage desire for vengeance on those who had slain so many of their comrades, continued in pursuit of the fleeing enemy down the hill toward the village [Sharpsburg]. Even after the regiment was halted and the readjustment of the line ordered, some of the officers were obliged to follow and command these men individually to return to the line. The acting adjutant, Lieutenant Horner, only succeeded in driving Sergeant Searing of Company D (who was among the foremost in the pursuit) back to the company by threatening him with a revolver.

Searing had been wounded during the charge but not severely enough to disable him. He was not inclined to submit, even when so threatened by the officer. All the latent tiger in his nature had been awakened and aroused by the sights and sounds of the last quarter of an hour, and it required decidedly pointed demonstrations on the part of the acting adjutant to recall him to the condition of the obedient and well-disciplined non-com. of ordinary times. One of these enthusiasts had pursued the enemy into the village, at least his dead body was afterward found in the village street.

The rest of the War

He mustered out with his Company May 20, 1863.

After the War

In the business since at least 1900, he was listed as proprietor of the Snowflake Salt Company, NYC and received two US Patents having to do with salt in 1906.

References & notes

Service data from State of New York1. The quote above from Graham2. Further details from NY City directories, the Journal of the US Patent Office, and the Biographical Directory3.


10/28/1842; New York City, NY


04/30/1915; Manhattan County, NY


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, Issue 18 (for the year 1899), pg. 750  [AotW citation 12607]

2   Graham, Matthew John, The Ninth Regiment, New York Volunteers (Hawkins' Zouaves), New York: E.P. Coby & Company, Printers, 1900, pp. 302-303  [AotW citation 12608]

3   Biographical Directory Co., Biographical Directory of the State of New York, New York City: Biographical Directory Co., 1900, pg. 432  [AotW citation 12609]