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Federal (USV)


William Cullen

(1829 - 1862)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 48th Pennsylvania Infantry

Before Antietam

A 31 year old coal miner from Middleport, Schuylkill County, he had served as First Sergeant in the Wynkoop Artillery (16th Pennsylvania, Company E) for 3 months in Spring 1861. He enrolled as First Lieutenant, Company E, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry on 20 August 1861.

On the Campaign

He was killed in action on 17 September 1862 by a ramrod through the chest near the Otto Farm Lane at Antietam:

My ! that was a hot place ! Thermometer way up above the nineties. Whiz ! whip ! chung ! the bullets came pelting into the ranks. With a bang and a splutter along came that destructive old shell, which filled Douty's eyes with dirt, and bruised his shoulder, tore off Sergeant Seward's leg and left Sergeant Trainer minus one arm, as it drove the ramrod he was just replacing into poor Cullen's breast. Cullen jumped to his feet, tore open his shirt to show his captain the wound, and then dropped dead at Winlack's feet.

References & notes

Basic information from Gould1. The quote above from Bosbyshell2. Further details from John Hoptak [via Facebook], who was given a previously unknown photo of him, from a family member in New Orleans.


1829 in PA


09/17/1862; Sharpsburg, MD; burial in St. Stephen's Cemetery, Port Carbon, PA


1   Gould, Joseph, The Story of the Forty-eighth : a Record of the Campaigns of the Forty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry ..., Philadelphia: Regimental Association, 1908, pp. 82 - 90, 400 - 460 (rosters)  [AotW citation 5430]

2   Bosbyshell, Oliver Christian, The 48th in the war: being a narrative of the campaigns of the 48th Regiment, Infantry, Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, during the War of the Rebellion, Philadelphia: Avil Print. Co., 1895, pg. 81  [AotW citation 14807]