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W.W. Dudley

W.W. Dudley

Federal (USV)


William Wade Dudley

(1842 - 1909)

Home State: Indiana

Command Billet: Company Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 19th Indiana Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

An 18 year old merchant and former military school student in Richmond, IN, he was commissioned Captain, Company B, 19th Indiana Infantry on 29 July 1861.

On the Campaign

He relieved Lieutenant Colonel Bachman in command of the 19th Indiana Infantry at Antietam on 17 September 1862, as senior man available.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major of the regiment to date from 18 September and to Lieutenant Colonel on 7 October 1862. He was wounded in the right leg in action at Gettysburg, PA on 1 July 1863 and briefly captured there. He was released on 4 July. His leg was amputated and he was discharged for wounds on 30 June 1864. He was commissioned Captain in the Veteran Reserve Corps on 25 March 1865, where he served as army corps inspector and judge-advocate. He was honored by brevets up to Brigadier General of Volunteers on 13 March 1865 and mustered out on 30 June 1866.

After the War

He was a bank cashier, lawyer, US Marshal in Indiana, and active in Republican politics in Indiana and nationally. From 1881 to 1885 he was Commissioner of Pensions in Washington, DC. He was appointed Treasurer of the Republican National Committee in 1888, and wrote a circular to fellow Republicans, later known as the "blocks of five" letter, talking about buying votes during the Harrison-Cleveland presidential election of that year. It's publication finished his political career, and he then practiced law in Washington, DC for the rest of his life.

In 1876 he was elected President of the 19th Indiana Reunion Association at their meeting in Muncie. In 1879 he privately published a pamphlet called The Iron Brigade at Gettysburg of about 100 copies. He was also Department of Indiana Commander, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) for 1881 and a member of the Richmond (Wayne County) GAR Post.

References & notes

Service from the Adjutant General1 and Heitman2 Details from his obituary in the Washington Evening Star of 16 December 1909. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph hosted by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), Indiana.

More on the Web

See more about Dudley's role in the 1888 presidential election in Losing the Vote, Winning the Election from the Indiana Historical Society. There is another excellent war-time portrait of him in the collection of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.


08/27/1842; Weathersfield Bow, VT


12/15/1909; Washington, DC; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA


1   State of Indiana, Adjutant General's Office, and William H.H. Terrell, Adjutant General, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, 8 volumes, Indianapolis: (various) State Printers, 1865-1869, Vol. 2, pp. 168, 170  [AotW citation 20687]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 386  [AotW citation 20688]