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G.B. Cogswell

G.B. Cogswell

Federal (USV)


George Badger Cogswell

(1834 - 1896)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Dartmouth College (1851-53),
Harvard Medical School, Dartmouth Medical College, Class of 1857

Branch of Service: Medical

Unit: 29th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

Son of a wealthy doctor, he attended Dartmouth College from 1851 to 1853, but left to sail the world "before the mast" to 1855. He attended the Harvard Medical School then returned to Dartmouth and graduated with an MD from their Medical College in 1857. He was physician at the State Almshouse in Bridgewater to 1859 and in 1860 he was a 25 year old physician in North Easton, MA. He enrolled and was commissioned Assistant Surgeon of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry on 14 December 1861 at Pawtucket, MA.

Assistant Surgeon George B. Cogswell voluntarily remained behind at White Oak Swamp (and subsequently fell into the hands of the enemy), for the purpose of attending to the wounded of his regiment who could not be removed, and while in the enemy’s lines [in Libby Prison, Richmond, VA to July 14], made himself exceedingly useful. He rejoined the regiment about July 19, 1862.
He was appointed Surgeon on 7 August 1862.

On the Campaign

He was with his regiment on the Maryland Campaign and treated wounded men of his and other regiments on and near the battlefield of Antietam on and after 16 September 1862.

The rest of the War

On 16 October he was assigned to the 2nd Corps hospital at Harpers Ferry, VA, and in November was detailed to stay and care for sick troops there while the rest of the Corps moved south. By August 1863 he was on detached service, and on 6 October was assigned as the Assistant Medical Inspector of the 9th Army Corps. He went on sick leave with "chronic rheumatism" on 14 January 1864, tendered his resignation from Boston on 11 February, and was honorably discharged for disability from neuralgic rheumatism on 15 March 1864.

After the War

From 1865 and to at least 1886 he practiced medicine in Easton. And except for his war service years, he was also the town Postmaster from 1861 to 1885. He was also active in veterans affairs: a charter member (1868) of the A. B. Randall Post 52, GAR, in Easton, he dedicated the town's Soldier's Monument (1888), and he attended regimental reunions for many years.

References & notes

His service from Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, 1 his Compiled Service Records,2 online from fold3, and the History,3 source of the quote above. Personal details from family genealogists, a bio sketch and other mentions in William L. Chaffin's History of Easton (1886), the US Census of 1860-1880, and the Massachusetts State Census of 1865. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture from a fine photograph contributed by Norman Dagen.

He married Catherine Babson "Cate" Brown (1835-1898) in February 1858, and they had two children.

His brother William Cosgrove was also at Antietam: then a Captain (later Colonel) in the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry.


09/15/1834; Bradford, MA


03/06/1896; Stoughton, MA


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 3, p. 277  [AotW citation 29911]

2   US War Department, Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who served in US Volunteer organizations enlisted for service during the Civil War, Record Group No. 94 (Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917), Washington DC: US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), 1903-1927  [AotW citation 29912]

3   Osborne, WIlliam H., The History of the Twenty-ninth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Late War of the Rebellion, Boston: Albert J. Wright, printer, 1877, p. 171, 217  [AotW citation 29913]