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J. Hayes

J. Hayes

Federal (USV)

Lieutenant Colonel

Joseph Hayes

(1835 - 1912)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Harvard University, Class of 1855

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 18th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

As the 18th Massachusetts was organized in July 1861, Joseph Hayes, from Boston, was appointed Major. He served with the unit in and near Washington, and on the Peninsula Campaign. He was absent, ill, for the last two weeks of August 1862, but was back in service by 1 September. 1 In command as senior officer present, he was shortly after promoted Lieutenant Colonel to date from 25 August 1862.2

On the Campaign

The Regiment was in reserve on 17 September, but saw action at Shepherdstown on the 20th.

The rest of the War

Hayes and the 18th campaigned with the Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg (Decemeber 1862), Chancellorsville (May 1863), Gettysburg (July 1863) - where he was wounded - , and to Mine Run (Novemeber 1863).1 He was appointed Colonel of the Regiment to date from 1 March 1863, served often in command of the Brigade after November 1863, and was appointed Brigadier General of Volunteers on 12 May 1864. He was cited by brevet (Major General) for bravery at Weldon Railroad (August 1864).2 He had been captured there and held briefly at Libby Prison, Richmond.3

In January 1865 he was appointed US Commissioner of Supplies to the former Confederate states3, and was honorably mustered out on 24 August 1865.1,2

After the War

He was a Civil Engineer, and was noted for introducing hydraulic mining technology to Columbia (South America).3

References & notes

Additional biographical details from Warner4 and from the Don Thompson bio on Find-a-Grave.

The photograph above is from a CDV offered for sale in 2014 by Historical Auctions. A formal portrait of him in the uniform of a Major General is displayed at Harvard.


09/14/1835; South Berwick, ME


08/19/1912; New York, NY; burial in Old Fields Cemetery, South Berwick, ME


1   Churchill, Tom, and Stephen McManus and Donald Thompson, Eighteenth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, Published c. 1996, first accessed 01 January 2006, <>  [AotW citation 554]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, pg. 515  [AotW citation 555]

3   Fiske, John, and James Grant Wilson, editors, Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 6 vols., New York City: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889, Vol. 3, pg. 133  [AotW citation 558]

4   Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Blue, Lives of the Union Commanders, Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1964  [AotW citation 556]