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J. Caldwell

J. Caldwell

Federal (USV)

Brigadier General

John Curtis Caldwell

(1833 - 1912)

Home State: Maine

Education: Amherst, Class of 1855

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

In November 1861 he was Colonel of the 11th Maine Regiment and in April 1862 was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers and took command of the 1st Brigade/1st Division/II Corps for the Peninsula campaign.

On the Campaign

He was in command of the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division, Second Army Corps. In the attack of the First Division on the Sunken Road on the morning of the 17th, he was probably not at the head of his Brigade. It was reported to the Division commander, Major General Richardson, that Caldwell was somewhere to the rear "hiding behind a haystack", at which time (after some colorful swearing) Richardson took personal command of the Brigade. Richardson was mortally wounded in that assault.

Caldwell was nominally Division commander as senior Brigadier after General Richardson was taken from the field, but was quickly replaced by General Hancock from the Sixth Corps.

The rest of the War

He was later tried for cowardice, but not convicted. He continued in command of the First Brigade at Fredericksburg, where he was wounded, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Mine Run. He was relieved of duty in the Army of the Potomac in March 1864.

After the War

He was a lawyer, US Consul in Valparaiso, US Minister to Uruguay, and US Consul in Costa Rica. He served in the honor guard in the procession of Lincoln's body from Washington to Springfield.


4/17/1833; Lowell, VT


8/31/1912; Calais, ME