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J. B. Campbell

J. B. Campbell

Federal (USA)


Joseph Boyd Campbell

(1836 - 1891)

Home State: New Hampshire

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1861;Class Rank: 22/34

Command Billet: Battery Commander

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: 4th United States Artillery, Battery B

Before Antietam

Raised in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, he entered the US Military Academy at West Point in July 1857 and graduated in June 1861. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th United States Artillery on 24 June 1861 and was advanced to First Lieutenant the same day. He was appointed Captain and Additional Aide-de-Camp (AADC) on 16 May 1862 and assigned to Battery B.

On the Campaign

He was in command of Battery B, 4th United States Artillery, part of the 1st Division of the First Army Corps' Artillery in Maryland. He deployed his guns in very close support of the Division's assault through the Miller cornfield early on 17 September 1862 at Antietam, and was crucial in helping to stop the charge of Hood's Division. He was wounded during that fighting and command of the Battery fell to Lieutenant Stewart.

The rest of the War

He was honored by brevets to Captain, USA, on 30 August 1862 for "gallant and meritorious service" at Second Bull Run and to Major, 17 September 1862, for "gallant and meritorious service" at Antietam.

He was absent recovering from wounds to 22 December 1862, then served as ADC to Brigadier General Barry, Chief of Artillery, and was acting Inspector of Artillery at Washington, DC to February 1864. He was Assistant Professor of mathematics at the Academy to June 1865. He mustered out as Captain and AADC on 10 July 1865 and resumed his former line rank as First Lieutenant, 4th Artillery.

After the War

He continued in Regular Army service and was at Brownsville, TX to February 1866 then in staff jobs in Washington, DC and at Fort Washington, MD. He was offered a Captaincy in the 16th US Infantry on 28 July 1866, but declined it. He was was promoted to Captain, 4th Artillery on 5 February 1867 and had various post commands from Virginia to California, including as Chief Executive of Alaska (1874-76) at Sitka, when it was under Army jurisdiction. He soon after saw action against the Sioux in the Montana Territory. He was appointed Major, 2nd US Artillery on 1 July 1891, but was on sick leave when he died on 28 August 1891.

References & notes

His service from Heitman1 and Cullum.2 Alaska Reference on Explore North site. Personal details from his obituary from the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture is from a CDV kindly provided by Scott D. Hann, from his collection.

He married the widow Caroline Sanger Jones (1838-1906) in June 1871 and they had 4 children (2 daughters survived him) and raised two children from her previous marriage.


11/26/1836; Philadelphia, PA


08/28/1891; Montreal, CANADA; burial in USMA Post Cemetery, West Point, NY


1   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. 278  [AotW citation 27453]

2   Cullum, George Washington, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the US Military Academy, 2nd Edition, 3 vols., New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1868-79, Vol. II, pp. 828-29; Vol. IV, pg. 132  [AotW citation 27454]