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W.W. Greenland

W.W. Greenland

Federal (USV)


Walter Wright Greenland

(1846 - 1895)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 125th Pennsylvania Infantry

Before Antietam

He enlisted in Company D, 5th Pennsylvania Reserves in June 1861, but was mustered out as underage. He enlisted in August 1862 in Company C, 125th Pennsylvania Infantry, and mustered in as Sergeant on 14 August 1862.

On the Campaign

At Antietam on 17 September 1862 "... George A. Simpson, while bravely holding the flag aloft, was hit with a bullet from a Confederate gun, which pierced his brain, and he fell dead. A second man picked up the flag, and he was shot clown. A third, and he fell; the fourth took it up, and he was shot and fell. Then Sergeant W.W. Greenland picked up tile flag, stained with the blood of Simpson, and Captain Wallace, taking it in charge, carried it across the field to the rear of the nearest battery, and there he, aided by Captains Bell and McKeage and Lieutenant Thomas McCamant, rallied about two hundred of the regiment, who remained in support ..."

The rest of the War

He mustered out with his Company on 18 May 1863.

After the War

He was a civil engineer and oil company manager. He enlisted in the 16th Regiment, Pennsylvania National Guard in the 1880s and rose to be Brigadier General and Adjutant General of Pennsylvania in 1892.

References & notes

Basic information and the quote above from Wallace1. Life dates and burial from his gravesite on Findagrave. Service data from Bates2. Further details from his New York Times obituary. Thanks to Walter Via for the pointer to his obit and an 1863 portrait of the Sergeant, source of the picture used here. Mr Via has also posted a fantastic collection of wartime letters by Greenland online.


01/06/1846; Coatsville, PA


03/23/1895; Clarion, PA; burial in Clarion Cemetery, Clarion, PA


1   Wallace, William W. (Chairman), and the Regimental Committee, History of the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, Philadelphia: J.B,. Lippincott Co., 1906, pp. 22 - 74  [AotW citation 1252]

2   Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871  [AotW citation 8873]