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O. H. Palmer

O. H. Palmer

Federal (USV)


Oliver Hazard Palmer

(1814 - 1884)

Home State: New York

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 108th New York Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He was a Rochester (NY) attorney and former judge, and had no military training or prior experience. He succeeded Colonel Williams in command (July 1862) shortly after the regiment was recruited and organized at Rochester, where it was mustered in the service of the United States for three years August 16-18, 1862.

On the Campaign

Antietam was the first combat experience for Palmer and most of the 108th, as they had been in service less than one month when they became part of the assault on the Confederate positions in the Sunken Road on September 17th.
Once the lane was taken, LCol Kelly of the 88th NY says:

"He (the general [Richardson]) then placed me in command of the One hundred and eighth New York, and ordered us to support a battery a little in advance of where we were previously engaged [Piper's Farm], and remained there during the night and next day. "

It may be that Col Palmer was incapacitated, or perhaps Gen Richardson had gathered a part of Palmer's regiment for this duty under LCol Kelly.

The rest of the War

Palmer led the 2nd Brigade in French's Division at Fredericksburg in December 1862, and was discharged on March 2, 1863.

References & notes

Sources: New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. Frederick Phisterer. Albany: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912., available online from the NY State Military Museum; and
Palmer Papers from the Navarro (TX) College Archives - synopsis and notes online.