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R. Matheson

R. Matheson

Federal (USV)


Roderick Nicol Matheson

(1824 - 1862)

Home State: California

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 32nd New York Infantry

Before Antietam

He came to New York from Scotland with his parents at age 15 and went farming in Ohio at age 20. He traveled to San Fransisco in the 'gold rush' of 1849 and soon became a leading citizen there. He moved his family to quieter Healdsville, CA in 1856, where he taught school and farmed.

In January 1861 he traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the inauguration of President Lincoln, then to New York City, where he volunteered for Army service. He enrolled on 22 May and mustered as Colonel of the "First California" Regiment - the 32nd New York Infantry - on 31 May 1861.

On the Campaign

He was mortally wounded in action at Crampton's Gap on 14 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He died of his wounds just over two weeks later at Burkittsville, MD. His remains were first transported to New York City for a formal public funeral, then returned to California for another in San Francisco before he was interred at Healdsburg in November 1862.

References & notes

His service from the State of New York.1 Pre-war details from an excellent bio sketch by Hannah Clayborn from her History of Healdsburg (1994), now online from the California Military Museum. His picture from one in the Healdsburg Museum, kindly provided by Tim Reese. His gravesite is on Findagrave; thanks also to Mr Reese for the pointer to that. His stone has his age at death as 36 and year of birth, then, as 1826.


5/28/1824; Inverness, SCOTLAND


10/02/1862; Burkittsville, MD; burial in Oak Mound Cemetery, Healdsburg, CA


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, For the Year 1899, Ser. No. 21, pg. 959  [AotW citation 21719]