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Federal (USV)


William Ayers Salisbury

(1841 - 1862)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 34th New York Infantry

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was a 19 year old living on his parent's farm in the town of Ohio, Herkimer County, NY. He enlisted on 1 May 1861 at Norway, NY and mustered as Private, Company C, 34th New York Infantry on 15 June 1861.

On the Campaign

He was killed in action in the West Woods at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

His brother-in-law Bowen B. Moon went to Sharpsburg to recover his body to return him home for burial:

The man I employed carefully removed the dirt until he came to a blanket that had been placed over three dead placed in one grave. Separating the blanket in the middle there I beheld the dead brother ‘sleeping the sleep that knows no wakening.’ It was just two weeks subsequent to the battle, and the features and contours of the face was easily recognized.
In 1867 remains said to be his, but necessarily someone else's, were reinterred in the National Cemetery.

References & notes

Burial information from the Antietam Cemetery History1; details of his removal to New York and the quote above from the Park Service's ANC Teacher's Packet (2007). His service from the State of New York.2 Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860. His marker at Antietam National Cemetery is on Findagrave. Thanks to Joel Morey and the Herkimer Historical Society for his final resting place.

More on the Web

See a fantastic series of posts on Walking the West Woods from Jim Buchanan about Bowen Moon's mission to the Antietam battlefield.


12/10/1841; Norway, NY


09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Norway Rural Cemetery, Norway, NY


1   Antietam National Cemetery, Board of Trustees, History of Antietam National Cemetery, Baltimore: John W. Woods, Steam Printer, 1869  [AotW citation 4124]

2   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 1900, Ser. No. 22, pg. 255  [AotW citation 27224]