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J.M. Morris

J.M. Morris

Federal (USV)


John Moses Morris

(1837 - 1873)

Home State: Connecticut

Education: Yale College (1860),
Yale Divinity School, Class of 1862

Branch of Service: Chaplain

Unit: 8th Connecticut Infantry

Before Antietam

He was ordained in New Haven on 23 April 1862, enrolled on 26 April, and mustered as Chaplain of the 8th Connecticut Infantry on 14 May.

On the Campaign

He was with the regiment in Maryland and assisted with the wounded on the battlefield of Antietam on 17 September 1862. In desperate fighting at the regiment's farthest advance toward Sharpsburg that afternoon:

Twenty men are falling every minute. Col. Appelman is borne to the rear. John McCall falls bleeding. Eaton totters, wounded, down the hill. Wait, bullet-riddled, staggers a few rods, and sinks. Ripley stands with a shattered arm. Russell lies white and still. Morgan and Maine have fallen. Whitney Wilcox is dead. Men grow frantic. The wounded prop themselves behind the rude stone fence, and hurl leaden vengeance at the foe. Even the chaplain snatches the rifle and cartridge-box of a dead man, and fights for life.

The rest of the War

He resigned on 29 September 1863 and returned to New Haven and ran the Connecticut War Record newspaper to the end of the war.

After the War

With William A. Croffut, he compiled the Military and Civil History of Connecticut During the War of 1861-65, which they published in 1868. He was a clerk, first in the House, then the Senate of Connecticut (1865-67), briefly Senator Orris S. Ferry's private secretary in Washington, DC, then went to Charleston, SC where he founded the Weekly Republican. In March 1869 he returned to Washington, DC, elected executive clerk of the Secretary of the US Senate; he was in that post to his death. In 1871-72 he was also owner and editor of the Washington Chronicle. He died, relatively young at age 36, of consumption (tuberculosis).

References & notes

His service from the Record.1 The quote above from his own History.2 Personal details from family genealogists and his Yale Obituary (1874). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph held by the Welles Family Association, Wethersfield, in an album donated by Sonya Vinson.

He married Emily Augusta (or Augusta Emily) Griswold (1843-1925) in December 1863 and they had 4 children, at least 3 of whom died in infancy.

More on the Web

His papers are in the Connecticut State Library [finding aid].


04/27/1837; Wethersfield, CT


11/27/1873; Washington, DC; burial in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, 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, p. 329  [AotW citation 30621]

2   Croffut, W. A., and John M. Morris, The Military and Civil History of Connecticut during the War of 1861-65, New York: Ledyard Bill, 1868, p. 272  [AotW citation 30622]