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B.L. Simpson

B.L. Simpson

Federal (USA)

Lieutenant Colonel

Benjamin Louis Simpson

(1818 - 1888)

Home State: Maryland

Command Billet: Commanding Regiment

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: Purnell Legion (Maryland) Infantry


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He was a ship carpenter and militia officer living with his wife and three children in Baltimore. He was commissioned Captain, Company A, Purnell Legion (MD) Infantry on 24 August 1861, was promoted to Major on 8 April 1862, and appointed Lieutenant Colonel on 23 July. He succeeded Colonel William Purnell (who resigned 17 February 1862) in command of the Infantry Regiment.

On the Campaign

He commanded the regiment on the Maryland Campaign.

The rest of the War

He resigned his commission on 5 December 1862. He was again commissioned, as Lieutenant Colonel of the 9th Maryland Infantry for 6 months' service on 29 June 1863 and was made Colonel on 17 August. Much of his regiment was captured at Charlestown, VA in October 1863, although not Colonel Simpson. He mustered out on 24 February 1864.

After the War

He was working in the Washington Navy Yard at his death from tuberculosis in 1888.

References & notes

Service from Wilmer.1 Details from an obituary listing from the Congressional Cemetery and the US Census of 1850. His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture from a photograph at the Maryland Historical Society as published in Colonels in Blue: the Mid-Atlantic States.2

More on the Web

See more about Simpson and the capture of most of the 9th Maryland at Charlestown in a fine post by Robert Moore on Cenantua's Blog.


07/15/1818; Baltimore, MD


2/27/1888; Washington, DC; burial in Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC


1   Wilmer, L. Allison, and J.H. Jarrett, George H. Vernon, State Commissioners, History and Roster of Maryland Volunteers, War of 1861-5, Baltimore: Press of Guggenheimer, Weil & Co., 1898, Vol. 1, pp. 336, 462  [AotW citation 20758]

2   Hunt, Roger D., Colonels in Blue: Union Army Colonels of the Civil War - Mid Atlantic States, Mechanicsburg (PA): Stackpole Books, 2007, pg. 230  [AotW citation 20759]