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J.B. Noyes

J.B. Noyes

Federal (USV)


John Buttrick Noyes

(1838 - 1908)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Harvard College, Class of 1858

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 13th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

He attended the Harvard Law School 1859-60 and briefly worked in a law office in Boston. He was a 23 year old clerk in Boston when he enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, Massachusetts Rifles on 21 May 1861 and was on garrison duty at Ft. Independence. When the Rifles entered Federal service as Company B, 13th Massachusetts Infantry he mustered as Private on 16 July 1861. He was slightly wounded at 2nd Bull Run on 30 August 1862.

On the Campaign

He was wounded in the leg in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was treated at a hospital at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, PA, then was in Brooklyn, NY and Washington, DC before returning to duty with the regiment near Frederickburg, VA on 4 February 1863. He was detailed to the Provost Marshal's office on 14 March and was discharged from the 13th Massachusetts on 11 April 1863 to accept a commission as 2nd Lieutenant, Company F, 28th Massachusetts Infantry. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on 12 May 1863 and to Captain of Company C on 6 May 1864. He served in Brigade staff positions from September 1864 until returning to Boston on 13 December to muster out of service. He was honored by brevets to Major, Lieutenant Colonel, and Colonel on 13 March 1865.

After the War

By May 1865 he was an assistant at the Mercantile Library, Brooklyn, NY, then, from July 1865 to 1885, was in the fish and salt business there. He worked for various warehouse companies in Brooklyn from 1885 to at least 1898. He never married, and was a member of MOLLUS and the Harvard Club.

References & notes

Service from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1 and Davis.2 Hospital and wound information from Nelson.3 Personal details from letters to his family, as transcribed online by Brad Forbush, the Report of the Class of 1858 (1898), and the Quinquennial Catalogue of the Law School of Harvard University (1920). His gravesite is on Findagrave. His picture as an officer in the 28th Mass from a photograph kindly provided by Joseph Maghe from his collection.

More on the Web

His wartime letters home are in the Houghton Library at Harvard [finding aid]. An 1858 photograph of him is in the Harvard Art Museum.


03/02/1838; Petersham, MA


12/13/1908; Brooklyn, NY; burial in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA


1   Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Adjutant General, Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War, 8 Vols, Norwood (MA): Norwood Press, 1931-35, Vol. 2, pp. 79 - 84  [AotW citation 6893]

2   Davis, Charles E., Jr., Three years in the army: The story of the Thirteenth Massachusetts Volunteers ..., Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1894, pg. 443  [AotW citation 21227]

3   Nelson, John H., As Grain Falls Before the Reaper: The Federal Hospital Sites and Identified Federal Casualties at Antietam, Hagerstown: John H. Nelson, 2004, pg. 338  [AotW citation 21226]