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Federal (USA)


Samuel A. McKee

(c. 1842 - 1864)

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 5 August 1861 and promoted to First Lieutenant 5 days later. He was wounded in the leg at Gaines' Mill in June 1862.

On the Campaign

He commanded Company I of the 2nd US Infantry at Antietam and was wounded in action there on 17 September 1862. He soon met Assistant Surgeon Alfred Woodhull, who wrote:

I crossed the crest myself when I saw walking along the road to the creek Lieutenant McKee, Second Infantry, apparently wounded. I crossed over to him and found a triangular piece of shrapnel, about three-fourths of an inch on a side, with one of its angles imbedded in the sternum. He was also feeling some shock. I turned back with him looking for a convenient place to dress the wound, but found none until we came near the bridge ... approaching the bridge I found a small house on the south side of the road, that had been abandoned, and that I used for a dressing station - one could hardly call it a hospital - and there cared for the wounded who drifted back, until it was dark and after.

The rest of the War

He was later treated at the Locust Springs Hospital on the Geeting Farm near Keedysville, MD, and in a US Army General Hospital in Frederick, MD (dates not given). While recovering, he was promoted to Captain of Company K to date from 12 September 1862. He was honored by brevet to Major, USA for his actions at Chancellorsville, VA on 3 May 1863, where he briefly commanded the regiment. He was wounded again, at Gettysburg in July 1863. He was killed by "guerrillas" near Greenwich, VA on 11 April 1864:

Privates Richard Lewis and A. A. Marsteller, both of Company H, Fourth Virginia Cavalry, met with a party of 4 officers of the regular army, U. S. Army (a captain and 3 lieutenants). These two gallant scouts attacked the party, Lewis confronting the leading two while Marsteller presented his pistol at the two in rear. One of these (Captain McKee, of the Second U. S. Infantry) offered resistance, but was eventually killed, not, however, until he had fired twice at his assailant. The captain's comrade took advantage of this encounter and escaped. Marsteller having dispatched McKee, re-enforced Lewis, when the two remaining officers surrendered. They are First Lieutenants Butler and Burns [Byrne], of the Second U. S. Infantry, evidently veterans promoted for meritorious conduct from the ranks. They have been brought safely through to my headquarters. This all took place within a short distance of the camp of a portion of the Fifth Corps.

References & notes

Service information from Heitman.1 Hospital details from Nelson2 and the Patient List.3 The first quote above from Louis C. Duncan's The Medical Department of the United States Army in the Civil War (c. 1916), also found in Nelson. There's a copy online from the Hathi Trust. The second quote from General J.E.B. Stuart's report of 14 April 1864 on the "Greenwich Affair;" it's in the ORs.4 His gravesite is on Findagrave.

He is easily confused with another Captain Samuel A. McKee (1823-1864), also buried in Allegheny Cemetery. I think both Heitman and Bates mixed their records together.


c. 1842 in PA


0411/1864; Greenwich, VA; burial in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, 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. 671  [AotW citation 26390]

2   Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pp. 29, 312  [AotW citation 26391]

3   National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and Terry Reimer, Frederick Patient List, Published 2018, first accessed 17 September 2018, <>, Source page: patient #40  [AotW citation 26392]

4   US War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (OR), 128 vols., Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1880-1901, Series 1, Vol. 33 (Ser. No. 60), pp. 267-268  [AotW citation 26399]