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C.F. Morse

C.F. Morse

Federal (USV)


Charles Fessenden Morse

(1839 - 1926)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Harvard Scientific School, Class of 1857

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

He was a student at Harvard at age 15. In the Spring of 1861 he helped organize the 2nd Massachusetts Regiment. By then a 22 year old architect in Jamaica Plain, MA, he enrolled as First Lieutenant, Company B, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry on 25 May 1861. He was promoted Captain on 11 July 1862.

On the Campaign

In command of Company B at Antietam. He was "struck by a spent ball in the temple, which laid me on my back for a moment and raised a pretty black and blue spot."

The rest of the War

Commissioned Major on 6 June 1863 and Lieutenant Colonel on 4 July 1863. Seriously wounded in the shoulder in action 16 March 1865 at Averysboro, NC. Honored by brevet to Colonel on 13 March 1865. Mustered out 14 July 1865.

After the War

He farmed in Georgia to about 1870, then went West. He was in the railroad business in Kansas - general manager of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe in Topeka to 1878, then managed the Kansas City, MO stockyards and was active in that City. He retired to his summer home in Falmouth, MA in 1913.

References & notes

Basic information from Quint1. Details from a bio sketch from the Kansas City Public Library and one accompanying his papers at MHS. The quote above from his letter of 10/22 September 1862. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture, from a photograph in the MOLLUS Massachusetts Collection2, posted by Gregory Speciale.

More on the Web

His papers have been digitized and hosted online [finding aid] by the Massachusetts Historical Society. These include detailed letters he wrote home after Antietam. He published his wartime letters privately in 1898. The copy he donated to the Harvard College Library is online from the Internet Archives.


09/22/1839; Boston, MA


12/11/1926; Falmouth, MA; burial in Oak Grove Cemetery, Falmouth, MA


1   Quint, Alonzo Hall, The Record of the Second Massachusetts Infantry: 1861-1865, Boston: James P. Walker, 1867, pp. 490 - 506  [AotW citation 14489]

2   US Army, Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC), Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)-Massachusetts Photograph Collection, Published 2009, <>, Source page: Vol. 93, pg. 4752  [AotW citation 14498]