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Federal (USV)


William T. Ackerson

(1838 - 1923)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 51st New York Infantry

Before Antietam

He had served in Company D, 2nd Ohio Infantry for three months from 17 April to 9 August 1861. Age 23 years, he enlisted 7 September 1861 at New York City to serve three years and mustered in as First Sergeant, Company F, 51st New York Infantry on 4 October 1861. He was appointed Sergeant Major of the Regiment on 5 April 1862, and mustered in as 2nd lieutenant, Company F on 27 July.

On the Campaign

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

The rest of the War

He was promoted to First lieutenant to date from 23 December 1862. He was captured on 30 September 1864 - along with nearly the entire Regiment - in action at Poplar Grove Church, VA. He was held at Libby Prison, Richmond, in Salisbury, NC, and then at the Confederate Military Prison, Danville, VA. On release he was promoted to Captain, to date from 11 August 1864. He was discharged 12 May 1865 near Alexandria, VA.

After the War

He was appointed patrolman in the 20th Precinct, New York City Police Department, in October 1865. He retired from the Department on a $600 annual pension in October 1885, by then living in Rahway, NJ. By 1899 he was in Seabright, NJ.

References & notes

Casualty information from Nelson1 with service from the New York2 and Ohio3 State Rosters. His capture from a 2 October 1864 letter home from George Washington Whitman (Walt's brother), who was also a prisoner. More from the New York Times of 15 October 1865 and two editions of the Report of the Police Department of the City of New York (1894, 1899). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His wartime diary is among his papers in the Monmouth County Historical Association, Freehold, NJ.


03/19/1838; Manalapan, NJ


11/29/1923; burial in Manalapan Presbyterian Cemetery, Manalapan, NJ


1   Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pg. 110  [AotW citation 16083]

2   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, For the Year 1900, Serial No. 25, pg. 1  [AotW citation 16564]

3   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. 1, pg. 26  [AotW citation 16565]