(1832 - c. 1919)
Home State: Connecticut
Education: Wesleyan University (1855),
Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, Class of 1857
Branch of Service: Medical
Raised as a mill worker, he attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, but did not graduate with his 1855 class. He did graduate, in 1857, from Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, and began the practice of medicine that year. He was in Meriden, CT by 1860 and enrolled as Assistant Surgeon of the 16th Connecticut Infantry on 16 August 1862.
On the Campaign
He treated wounded soldiers - notably Lieutenant Colonel Cheney - on the field at Antietam on 17 September 1862.
The rest of the War
He was captured at Plymouth, NC on 20 April 1864 and was a prisoner at Camp Oglethorpe in Macon, GA, then sent to Charleston, SC on 29 July. He was transferred to Savannah, GA on 2 September and paroled and exchanged there on 23 November 1864. He was promoted to Surgeon of the 21st Connecticut Infantry on 2 January 1865 and mustered out on 16 June 1865.
After the War
He returned to Meriden, CT, and practiced medicine there to at least 1910. His practice was not very lucrative, however, and he had to file for bankruptcy in 1878. He suffered from depression and possibly what we now call post-traumatic stress.
References & notes
His service from the Record.1 His role at Antietam from Assistant Surgeon Nathan Mayer's Reminiscences (1904). Personal details from Ian Dyk's The Life and Work of W. B. Nickerson (1865-1926) (2016), source also of his picture, from a photograph in the Connecticut State Library, with more from the Wesleyan University Bulletin (June 1907) and the US Census of 1850-1910. His memorial is on Findagrave.
He married Kate Eunice Bennett (1837-1882) in 1860 in Brooklyn, NY and they had 3 children. His son William Baker Nickerson (1865-1926) was a noted archaeologist.
More on the Web
See photographs of him c. 1850, 1862, and 1900 on behind AotW.
11/19/1832; Bucksport, ME
c. 1919; burial in Fountain Hill Cemetery, Deep River, CT
1 State of Connecticut, Adjutant General's Office, and AGs Smith, Camp, and Barbour, and AAG White, Record of Service of Connecticut Men in the Army and Navy of the United States during the War of the Rebellion, Hartford: Press of the Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Company, 1889, pp. 619, 639, 719 [AotW citation 27054]