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N.P. Hallowell

N.P. Hallowell

Federal (USV)


Norwood Penrose Hallowell


(1839 - 1914)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Harvard University, Class of 1861

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 20th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

A life-long Quaker and a swimmer and rower at Harvard, he enrolled on 10 July 1861 and was commissioned 1st Lieutenant of Company H, 20th Massachusetts Infantry on 10 August. He was promoted to Captain on 26 November 1861 and transferred to Company D.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in the arm in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry on 24 April 1863. He was wounded three times in the assault on Fort Wagner, SC on 18 July 1863, and took command after Colonel Shaw was killed there. He was commissioned Colonel of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry to date from 24 June 1863 but resigned that commission due to lingering effects of wounds on 2 November 1863.

After the War

He was a wool broker in New York and Boston. He married and lived in Medford, MA after 1868 and was longtime president of the National Bank of Commerce at his death at age 74 in 1914.

References & notes

Basic service information from Soldiers.1 Personal details from family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph at the Massachusetts Historical Society, published in an opinion piece in the Washington Post of 11 June 2020.

He married Sarah Wharton Haydock (1846-1934) in January 1868 and they had 6 children.

More on the Web

A collection of his papers is in the Massachusetts Historical Society [finding aid]; many are available online. They also have a fine post-service photograph of the Colonel.

The book Black Soldiers in the War of the Slaveowners' Rebellion - a collection of his letters and speeches - was published in 1963.


1839; Philadalphia, PA


04/11/1914; Medford, MA; burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, 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. II, pg. 561; Vol. IV, pp. 658, 715, 717  [AotW citation 24269]