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Federal (USV)


Martin Page Buffum

(1830 - 1884)

Home State: Rhode Island

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 4th Rhode Island Infantry

Before Antietam

He served as a Private in the First Rhode Island Infantry May - August 1861. He helped recruit a new Company and was appointed 1st Lieutenant, Company B of the 4th Infantry on 4 October 1861, then Captain on 11 October.

On the Campaign

He was in command of his Company on South Mountain and at Antietam in September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was promoted to Major of the Regiment on 10 October 1862 and Lieutenant Colonel on 24 December. He was captured in action at the Crater, Petersburg, Virginia on 30 July 1864. He was released and resigned his commission 7 December 1864.

After the War

He was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel, 19th US Veteran Volunteers in June 1865 and discharged from volunteer service on 10 May 1866. He later received three brevets for his service.

He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, 15th US Infantry (Regular Army) to date from 16 March 1866, and promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 11 May 1867. He served as the Regimental Quartermaster August '66 - November '67. There was scandal involving his wife Charlotta in 1870, and again in 1876, which probably led to his resigning from the Army on 22 February 1877. He killed himself in Texas in April 1884 due to "dissipation".

References & notes

Basic information from Allen1 and Heitman2. Details from a bio sketch in John Russell Bartlet's Memoirs of Rhode Island officers (1867) and research by Verity Gay McInnis in her doctoral dissertation Imperial Standard Bearers: Nineteenth-Century Army Officers' Wives in India and the American West (May 2012, Texas A&M University) [pdf].


11/10/1830; Providence, RI


04/20/1884; in TX


1   Allen, George H., Forty-six Months with the Fourth R. I. Volunteers, in the War of 1861 to 1865, Providence: J.A. & R.A. Reid, printers, 1887, pp. 381 - 386  [AotW citation 4394]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, Vol. 1, pg. 260  [AotW citation 4410]