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A. Hard

A. Hard

Federal (USV)


Abner Hard

(1820 - 1885)

Home State: Illinois

Education: Iowa State University Medical School (1854);
Rush Medical College (1868)

Branch of Service: Cavalry

Unit: 8th Illinois Cavalry

Before Antietam

He moved with his family to Livingston County, MI at age 13 in about 1833. He studied medicine and taught school in Detroit about 1850-51 then moved to Aurora, IL and studied with his brother Nicholas there. He graduated from the Iowa State University Medical School in Keokuk in 1854, practiced about 2 years in Ottawa (IL?), then settled back in Augora.

On 14 September 1861, by then a 40 year old physician, he enrolled and on 18 September mustered into service as Surgeon of the 8th Illinois Cavalry.

On the Campaign

He accompanied his regiment and tended wounded soldiers in the field at several locations along the route from Washington to Sharpsburg. After Antietam he and Assistant Surgeon Stull worked in a hospital in Keedysville, MD. One of the patients he noted was Major Sedgwick of the 2nd Corps/2nd Division staff. He and Stull also went out onto the battlefield near the Sunken Road on 18 September in an attempt to treat Confederate wounded there, but were fired upon by sharpshooters and retreated to the rear.

The rest of the War

He mustered out with the regiment on 17 July 1865 at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, MO, and returned to Chicago for discharge.

After the War

He returned to Aurora and resumed his medical practice there. He published his History of the 8th Cavalry in 1868 and graduated from the Rush Medical College in Chicago the same year. He also served a term on the Aurora City Council and was Aurora postmaster from 1869 to 1873.

References & notes

His service from the Adjutant General1 and his own History,2 source also of his picture, from an engraving after a photograph. Personal details from a bio sketch in Joslyn & Joslyn's History of Kane County (1908), the US Census of 1870, and family genealogists, some of whom have him as Abner Anson Hard. That was his grandfather's name, and if our doctor was given that middle name, he never used it. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He married Laura Elizabeth Vreeland (1824-1917) in May 1844 and they had 6 children.

At least 3 of Abner's brothers were also physicians.


12/02/1820; Geneva, NY


03/21/1885; Aurora, IL; burial in Spring Lake Cemetery, Aurora, IL


1   State of Illinois, Adjutant General, and J.N Reece, Brig. Gen, Adjutant General, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (1861-66), 9 volumes, Springfield: Journal Company, Printers and Binders (State Printer), 1900-1902, Vol. 8, pp. 106, 156  [AotW citation 25314]

2   Hard, Abner, History of the Eighth Cavalry Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, Aurora, IL: Abner Hard, 1868  [AotW citation 25315]