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Federal (USV)


Victor Aaron

(c. 1841 - 1862)

Home State: Ohio

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 8th Ohio Infantry

Before Antietam

He enlisted in Company B, 8th Ohio Infantry at age 20 on 17 June 1861, giving his name as John Shepherd.

On the Campaign

He was killed in action on 17 September 1862 at Antietam ...

Jack Sheppard, my old mess-mate, jovial companion, and favorite with everyone, drops. He is shot in a dozen places. He never even groaned! Poor boy! This morning he boastingly said that the bullet was not yet struck that was to kill him!

Jack Sheppard's real name was Victor Aarons. He was a fullblooded Jew. At eleven years of age he had shipped as a common sailor and had led a life of adventure until he enlisted with us in the summer of 1861. He had made several voyages on board a slaver to the coast of Africa. He had been involved in a mutiny on board the bark Wanderer, was captured with his associates by an American man-of-war, and brought in irons into the port of New York. Here he was imprisoned, but in some way or other succeeded in escaping from the hands of the law. On his way to a brother in Nashville, Tennessee he met a party of boon companions, recruits of ours, with whom he enlisted.

So died "Happy Jack." He had, perhaps, been guilty of great crimes. Perhaps not. During my acquaintance with him, I found him to be a brave, generous, and conscientious fellow. Full of honor, and as gentle as a woman. I couldn't help forgetting the battle for the moments I thought of the loss of my friend.

References & notes

Basic information from State of Ohio1. The quote above from Galwey2, who was Sergeant (later 2nd Lieutenant), Company B at Antietam.


c. 1841


09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD


1   State of Ohio, Roster Commission, Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, 12 Volumes, Akron: The Werner Company, 1893-95, Vol. 2, pp. 239 - 243  [AotW citation 14720]

2   Galwey, Thomas Francis, and W.S. Nye, editor, The Valiant Hours, Harrisburg (PA): The Stackpole Company, 1961, pp. 40 - 41  [AotW citation 14734]