(1820 - 1862)
Home State: Pennsylvania
Education: Lafayette College (Easton, PA)
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
A former student of engineering and European languages, he was a civil engineer in Philadelphia. He moved to the Wyoming Valley, near Scranton, PA for his health in 1841, and farmed there. By the outbreak of War he was acting Justice of the Peace in Scranton, and raised and was appointed Colonel of the 3-month 15th Pennsylvania Infantry on 1 May 1861. They served in Western Maryland and (West) Virginia, but saw no major action. He mustered out with them on 8 August 1861. He was appointed Colonel of the new 132nd Infantry on 21 August 1862 for a 9-month term, just under a month before the battle of Antietam.
On the Campaign
He was killed in command of his Regiment very early in the battle at Antietam on 17 September 1862 at the Sunken Road. He'd been shot by a sharpshooter while bringing the regiment up: hit by a bullet in the left shoulder which severed a large artery, quickly killing him.
References & notes
Service information from Bates1. Life details from Benjamin Throop's A Half Century in Scranton (1895), Selden Coffin's Record of the Men of Lafayette (1882), and family genealogists. His gravesite is on Findagrave. Thanks to J.O. Smith for the pointer to his photograph, from one in Hitchcock2, source also of his death details. Mr. Smith notes that it is Colonel Oakford's face on the regimental monument near the Bloody Lane at Antietam.
12/08/1820; Philadelphia, PA
09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Hollenback Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre, PA
1 Bates, Samuel Penniman, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, Harrisburg: State of Pennsylvania, 1868-1871, various [AotW citation 16586]
2 Hitchcock, Frederick Lyman, War from the Inside : the Story of the 132nd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry ... 1862-1863, Philadelphia: J.D. Lippincott Company, 1904, pg. 66, opp. pg. 58 [AotW citation 16587]