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Federal (USV)


Henry William Tisdale

(1837 - 1922)

Home State: Massachusetts

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 35th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

A 25 year old store clerk from Dedham, MA, he enlisted 23 July and mustered as Sergeant, Company I, 35th Massachusetts Infantry on 16 August 1862.

On the Campaign

He was wounded by gunshot in the thigh in action on South Mountain on the evening of 14 September 1862:

Just after we entered the wood [I] was wounded by a rifle ball passing through my left leg just opposite the thighbone. As the ball struck me it gave me a shock which led me to feel at first that the bone must have been struck and shattered and for a moment did not dare to move for fear it was so. Found on moving that the bone was not injured and that I had only a flesh wound, which relieved my mind and thankfulness to God that I was not maimed or dangerously hurt came. I think that the shot must have been fired by some straggling rebel or sharpshooter in a tree, as we had not yet got up to within reach of the rebel lines. Found myself in a few moments growing weak and tying my towel above the wound to stop its bleeding tried to make for the rear where the surgeons were.

As I was limping off a wounded rebel who was sitting against a tree called me and asked me if I did not have something to eat. Exhibiting a loaf and going to him I opened my knife to cut off a slice when he placed his hands before his face exclaiming "Don't kill me" and begging me to put up the knife and not to hurt him. Assuring him I had no intention of hurting him I spoke with him a little. Found he had a family in Georgia, that he was badly wounded and was anxious to have me remain with him and help him off. But found I was growing weaker from loss of blood and that the surging to and fro the troops about us made it a dangerous place so limping and crawling was obliged to leave him and move for the rear. Soon came across some men detailed to look out for the wounded who placed me in a blanket and took me to the rear to the surgeon ...

The rest of the War

He was taken to Middletown, MD, then moved to the Lutheran Church Hospital in Frederick. On 30 September he was sent to a hospital in Philadelphia. Although not entirely healed, he was ordered back to duty on 27 October 1862 and sent to the convalescent camp at Alexandria, VA. He was transferred to the Methodist Church Hospital, Alexandria, on 20 December, and returned to his Company on 4 February 1863. He was captured in action 24 May 1864 on the North Anna River, VA. He was held at Libby Prison, Richmond, VA; Andersonville and Camps Millen and Davidson (GA), and in the Florence (SC) Stockade. He was exchanged 5 March 1865. He mustered out with his Company 9 June 1865.

After the War

He lived in Boston, then opened a grocery store in Roxbury. He was a member of GAR Post #26 there.

References & notes

Basic information from Soldiers, Sailors and Marines.1 Details from his own diary, source of the quote above, and A. Dean Sargent's Grand Army of the Republic: Civil War Veterans, Department of Massachusetts, 1866 to 1947 (2002). His gravesite is on Findagrave.

More on the Web

His diary has been posted online by his great grandson Mark F. Farrell, source also of an excellent post-War photograph of him. There is a typescript of the diary at the Dedham (MA) Historical Society.


03/09/1837; Walpole, MA


05/31/1922; burial in Highland Cemetery, Norwood, MA


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 3, pg. 700  [AotW citation 17709]