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J.P. Shelton

J.P. Shelton

Federal (USV)


John Parker Shelton

(1844 - 1862)

Home State: Massachusetts

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 13th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

Son of a saddle and harness maker, in 1860 he was a 15 year old living with his parents and siblings in Melrose, MA. He was a 17 year old clerk in a wholesale clothing business in Boston when he enlisted on 11 August 1861 as a Private in Company A, 13th Massachusetts Infantry.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in he foot in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862 but ...

... remained till the regiment was ordered to the rear, to make room for re-enforcements, after fighting nearly three hours, and then, instead of selfishly looking out for himself, he volunteered to help a dying comrade off the field, although he himself could use but one foot. Thus slowly helping this poor fellow out of danger, a bullet hit him in the spine, which caused paralysis in the lower limbs. He was taken up, in a dying condition, in a blanket, by four men, one a member of our regiment, and sent, by mistake or from necessity, to one of Sedgewick’s Hospitals instead of Hooker's ... We know that he lived but about forty-eight hours, and expired with no friends around him ...
He died at the field hospital on the Hoffman Farm near Sharpsburg on 19 September 1862 and was buried "in a pleasant spot beneath a walnut tree, by the side of many others, about an eighth of a mile from the [Hoffman] farm house."

The rest of the War

His body was located and returned home by relatives and buried there on 16 October 1862.

References & notes

His basic service from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.1 Personal details from family genealogists, the US Census of 1860, and Elbridge H. Goss's The Annals of Melrose, County of Middlesex, Massachusetts in the Great Rebellion, 1861-65 (1868), source of the quotes above, from the memory of fellow soldier Ambrose Dawes. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a CDV kindly contributed to his memorial by David Hann, from his collection.


06/08/1844; Boston, MA


09/19/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose, 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. II, pp. 72 - 130  [AotW citation 2903]