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Federal (USV)


David Henry Houston

(1819 - 1894)

Home State: Delaware

Branch of Service: Medical

Unit: 2nd Delaware Infantry

Before Antietam

From an old Delaware family, in 1860 he was a prosperous 40 year old physician and farmer at Lewes in Sussex County. He enrolled in Washington, DC on 9 September 1861 and mustered as Surgeon of the 2nd Delaware Infantry on 2 October in Wilmington, DE (vice Dr William H White, mustered out). He was examined by a medical board in Baltimore in February 1862 and discharged on 4 March (or 19 April) for "adverse report," but that discharge was revoked and he remained on duty with his regiment.

On the Campaign

He was with the regiment on the march in Maryland until 14 September 1862, when he was left in Frederick, MD with sick troops of the Division. He was in charge of a hospital there to about 5 October, then relieved and sent, ill, to Philadelphia, PA.

The rest of the War

He was on sick leave into October, then in charge of medical stores at Harpers Ferry. In April 1863 he was assigned as brigade Chief Surgeon (4th Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps). On 12 December 1863 he was detailed as acting Chief Surgeon of the Division (though on sick leave from December '63 into February '64), and was in that post until he mustered out on 2 July 1864 at the end of his term of service.

After the War

By 1870 he was again a practicing physician at Lewes, DE and had a drugstore there, the first in town. In 1880 he was Treasurer of the Junction & Breakwater Railroad and still in that position when the J&BRR consolidated with two other local lines to become the Delaware, Maryland & Virginia Railroad in 1883 (later part of he “Delmarva Lines” of the Pennsylvania Railroad).

References & notes

His service from his Compiled Service Records,1 online from fold3. Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860-1880, the American Railroad Journal (1883), and J. Thomas Scharf's History of Delaware (Vol. 1, 1888). His gravesite is on Findagrave. Thanks to Christopher Collins for the poke to look into Dr. Houston.

He married Hannah Fisher Bell (1820-1852) in December 1842 and they had a son John, who died at 9 months old. He married again, Comfort Tingle Hitchens (1827-1883) in September 1856 and they had 3 children.


06/29/1819; Concord, DE


03/16/1894; Lewes, DE; burial in Lewes Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Lewes, DE


1   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 30843]