(1824 - 1864)
Home State: New York
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
Unit: 22nd New York Infantry
36 years old, from Cambridge, NY, he helped raise a Company of troops and he enrolled with them on 16 May 1861 as Captain of Company D, 22nd New York Infantry, but mustered as Major of the regiment on 6 June 1861 (to rank from 16 May). He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 30 August 1862 after Lieutenant Colonel Thomas was killed at 2nd Manassas.
On the Campaign
He commanded the regiment in Maryland as Colonel Phelps was leading the Brigade. They advanced through the Cornfield early on the 17th in close support of General Gibbon's 4th "Black Hat" Brigade.
They say that Major McKee is one of the coolest men in the army. His horse was wounded in several places and he was leading him when a cannon ball came and struck close to him. When his men tried to get him to leave but he thought that they could not shoot twice in one place ...
The rest of the War
At Fredericksburg, VA on 13 December 1862:
Every few minutes a bullet would go whistling over our heads & I saw one man killed by a bullet. I laid my head down just in time to escape. You can imagine how my thoughts turned to all my loved ones. As Col. McKee was taking off his sword to lie down his revolver went off & shot off his little toe & so the command devolved on Captain Ormsby.He was discharged for disability on 13 February 1863.
After the War
He died at 4 o'clock a.m. on 1 September 1864 after an accident on the family farm, where he was thrown from a run-away wagon.
The funeral was the largest ever witnessed on a private occasion, about 100 carriages were there ... his body had been placed in a vault at the time of the funeral service. His father, John McKie, 1789-1864, died on September 9, 1864. They were both buried on September 10, 1864.Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Post #309 (1882-1924) in Cambridge was later named for him.
References & notes
His service from the Adjutant General,1 as John McKee, Jr. The Antietam quote from a letter of 21 September 1862 by Private Joseph Russell Beadle (1830-1863) of the 122nd New York Infantry, who's unit joined the Army at Sharpsburg after the battle. It was transcribed and posted online by Griff. The second quote above is from a letter of unknown provenance transcribed in his record in the Historical Systems Database. His death and other personal details from John T. B. Mudge's Family Letters, Chapter 10 [pdf], which also has him as John Whiteside McKie, which may have been a way for family to tell near relatives apart. Letters is the source also of the third quote here. His gravesite is on Findagrave.
12/19/1824 in NY
09/01/1864; Cambridge, NY; burial in Woodlands Cemetery, Cambridge, NY