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Federal (USV)


Hartwell Thomas Benton Compson

(1842 - 1905)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Company First Sergeant

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 8th New York Cavalry

Before Antietam

At age 21, he enrolled on 28 September 1861 in Company G of the 8th Cavalry at Seneca Falls to serve 3 years. He was mustered in as Sergeant on 10 October, afterward appointed First Sergeant.

On the Campaign

He was with the 8th Cavalry on the breakout from Harpers Ferry on the night of 14-15 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of the Company to date from 29 December 1862, and 1st Lieutenant effective 25 June 1863. He was promoted Captain of his Company on 9 February and Major of the Regiment on 15 February 1865.

He was commanding the 8th New York Cavalry in action at Waynesboro, Virginia on 2 March 1865, where Federal troopers reportedly took 1500 prisoners, capturing 5 pieces of artillery and 10 enemy battle flags including that of General Early's HQ. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for that action.

He mustered out with his Regiment on 27 June 1865 at Alexandria, Virginia.

References & notes

Service details from Phisterer1. Life dates from his grave site courtesy Findagrave.


05/05/1842; Seneca Falls, NY


08/31/1905; Portland, OR; burial in GAR Cemetery, Portland, OR


1   Phisterer, Frederick, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 6 volumes, Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1909-12, Vol. 1, pg. 884  [AotW citation 1154]