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J. McK. Bloss

J. McK. Bloss

Federal (USV)


John McKnight Bloss

(1839 - 1905)

Home State: Indiana

Education: Hanover College (IN), Class of 1860

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 27th Indiana Infantry

Before Antietam

A 22 year old school teacher in New Philadelphia, IN, he mustered as Sergeant, Company F, 27th Indiana Infantry on 12 September 1861. He was wounded at Winchester, VA on 24 May 1862, and appointed First Sergeant in July.

On the Campaign

He led the Twelfth Corps skirmishers of Company K on 13 September 1862 near Frederick, MD and was among the group who discovered a copy of Confederate General Lee's Special Orders No. 191 in a field that morning. Four days later he was wounded in both legs in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862. He was appointed First Lieutenant on 18 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was wounded again, slightly, in the right leg at Chancellorsville, VA on 3 May 1863. He was promoted to Captain on 27 April 1864 and wounded for the fourth time and more seriously, in the left arm at Resaca, GA on 15 May 1864. He was treated at hospitals at Resaca and Nashville, TN, and returned to duty on 2 August 1864. He resigned on 13 October and was officially mustered out at the end of his term of service on 11 November 1864.

After the War

He studied medicine at Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati from 1864 to 1865. He had a long career as administrator and superintendent of public schools in Indiana and Kansas before becoming the third President of Oregon Agricultural College (1892-96; now Oregon State University). He then retired to his farm near Muncie, IN.

References & notes

Casualty information from Nelson1. Service from Brown2, Giants,3 and the Historical Data Systems database. Hospital and other details from Steven Russell's Roster. Post-War information from a bio sketch from Oregon State University. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from an ink-damaged photograph offered for sale online (2018) by Union Drummer Boy, Gettysburg. Thanks to Larry Freiheit for the pointer to the image and his superb digital restoration of it.


06/21/1839; New Philadelphia, IN


05/26/1905; Muncie, IN; burial in Beech Grove Cemetery, Muncie, IN


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. 135  [AotW citation 16464]

2   Brown, Edmund Randolph, The Twenty-Seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the War of the Rebellion, Monticello, IN: E.R. Brown, 1899, pg. 597  [AotW citation 18554]

3   Jones, Wilbur D., Jr., Giants in the Cornfield: the 27th Indiana Infantry, Shippenburg (Pa.): White Mane Publishers, 1997, pp. 228-229  [AotW citation 18555]