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Federal (USA)


Abraham Grafius

(1839 - 1863)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Company Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd and 10th United States Infantry

Before Antietam

He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, 2nd United States Infantry on 26 November 1861.

On the Campaign

He commanded Company C of the 2nd US Infantry at Antietam.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 25 September 1862 when Drum was promoted to Captain. He commanded Company F of the 2nd Infantry at Chancellorsville in May but on 3 June, on the march near Fredericksburg, VA, Surgeon Cyrus Bacon wrote:

... as we arrive near our intended camping place, Lieutenant Abraham Grafius, 2nd Infantry, falls in the road in convulsion. I was having my horse led in front of me but came up at once. Convulsions severe. Respiration nearly ceasing. I took him by the side of the road on a blanket. Put a bower over him to protect him from the sun. Again and again his convulsions occurred. I had to work Marshall Hall* on his breathing twice. Toward evening, I had him taken to his tent. I had sat right over him the whole day, scarcely being away from his side. It is the result of drinking. He drinks hard. If he wants to live, he had better sign the pledge.
Grafius died on 9 June 1863.

References & notes

Service information from Heitman1 and a promotion announcement in the New York Times of 7 January 1862. The quote above from the wartime diary of Cyrus Bacon, Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Army, online thanks to Civil War Digital. His gravesite is on Findagrave. He's sometimes seen as Abraham Graffius.

* Marshall Hall (1790-1857) was an English physician, physiologist and neurologist. He introduced a technique to free the airway and give immediate ventilation to save drowning victims in Asphyxia, its Rationale and its Remedy (1856).

More on the Web

See more of Dr Bacon's notes about Lieutenant Grafius over on the blog.

Offered for sale by the Historical Shop - an affidavit headed "Headquarters Provost Marshal’s Office, Washington, January 13th, 1863" in which Lieutenant Grafius admits that he lost $350 at Hammack's Saloon on Pennsylvania Avenue [Washington, DC] in a Faro game due to being intoxicated.


1839 in PA


06/09/1863; near Fredericksburg, VA; burial in Union Cemetery, Bellefonte, PA


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. 467  [AotW citation 26384]