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O.S. Woodward

O.S. Woodward

Federal (USV)


Orpheus Saeger Woodward

(1837 - 1919)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry

Before Antietam

From Northwestern Pennsylvania, he attended the Waterford Academy and the Northwestern State Normal School, and was a teacher and schoolmaster for about five years before the War.

In April 1861 he enlisted in the 90-day "Erie Regiment", but did not see action. When that unit disbanded, he was commissioned Captain in the new 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment.

On the Campaign

He was in command of the Regiment, as senior officer present, on the Maryland Campaign.

The rest of the War

He fought at Chancellorsville, and was again in command of the unit at Gettysburg, July 1863. He was noted for heroic action there, on Little Round Top, alongside the 20th Maine [monument, article]. He was shortly afterward promoted to Colonel.

He led the Regiment at Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill - where he was slightly wounded in the arm - and in the Wilderness to May 1864. He was severely wounded there, in the right knee, and had his leg amputated ten days later. He saw no further service and was discharged for disability in September. He was honored by the brevet rank of Brigadier General, USV, in March 1865.

After the War

He returned to his Pennsylvania home, and served two terms in the State legislature. In 1868 he moved to Kansas - first Humboldt, then Neosha Falls - where he ranched, farmed and was in the hardware business. He returned East for three years in 1878, living in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Youngstown, Ohio, but returned to Neosha Falls thereafter.

He was also in local politics: on the school board, city council, and served as Mayor. His political career culminated in two terms in the Kansas State Senate (1889-93). Woodward was a Mason and active in the major Veteran's organizations.

References & notes

Biographical and service details above from Connelley1, Bates2, and his obituary3.

The photograph above is from a CDV offered for sale in 2014 by Historical Auctions.

Thanks especially to Mr. John Jackson, of the Kansas GenWeb, for the email pointer to the Woodward obituary, which in turn led to other sources behind this biographical sketch, and to Mr. Dennis G. Cass of the Harborcreek Historical Society for the correction to his birthplace.


05/01/1835; Harborcreek Township, Erie Co., PA


06/26/1919; Neosho Falls, Kansas; burial in Cedarvale Cemetery, Neosho Falls, KS


1   Biography of Orpheus S. Woodward from A Standard History transcribed online by Erin Baker.
Connelley, William E., and Kansas State Historical Society, A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1918  [AotW citation 538]

2   From Martial Deeds, transcribed online by Judy Banja and other Pennsylvania GenWeb members.
Bates, Samuel Penniman, Martial Deeds Of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia: T. H. Davis & Co., 1876, pp. 881-82  [AotW citation 539]

3   Obituary, transcribed online by the Kansas GenWeb.
[staff writer], Obituary: Orpheus S. Woodward, The (Neosho Falls, Kansas) Post, 1919-07-03, pg. 1  [AotW citation 540]

4   Uriguen, Mikel, Photo Gallery (Generals and Brevet Generals), Generals of the Civil War, Published c. 1998, first accessed 01 January 1998, <>, Source page: /bw/bw8.htm  [AotW citation 541]