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Federal (USV)


William Wirt Bloss

(1831 - 1892)

Home State: New York

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 108th New York Infantry

Before Antietam

A printer by trade, he had gone West and was in Levenworth, Kansas in about 1854. He was shot and wounded there during the fighting over the issue of slavery and returned to Rochester to recover. He was later editor of the Rochester Evening Express. He helped recruit and was appointed First Lieutenant, Company A, 108th New York Infantry in July 1862.

On the Campaign

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

"The color guard had been almost annihilated ... Colonel Palmer ordered Bloss to make a detail from Company A and come to the support of the colors ... The colors were steadilv advanced until [Sergeant] Goff fell, pierced by a ball in the forehead, and every member of the guard was wounded. Bloss ihrust the color lance in the ground, and throwing himself upon his side and leaning upon his left arm, supported the colors with his right".

'Up to ths time I had felt no fear of personal danger, but suddenly the conviction was reversed, and this vivid sense of imminent danger was followed by a blinding blow as if ... some one had struck me. When I came to consciousness I was under the shadow of a haystack in rear of our line of battle, amid a crowd of suffering comrades under surgical treatment. Captain Pierce of Company F, as I learned, had taken me from the field ...'

"He had received a buckshot wound in the face, destroying the right cartilege of the nose and lacerating the lips and chin. It was followed by severe hemorrhage which proved well nigh fatal. When but partially recovered, Lieutenant Bloss rejoined the regiment on Bolivar Heights".

The rest of the War

He was discharged for wounds in March 1863. He returned to journalism, briefly in New York, then back out in Kansas. In 1864 he was appointed Captain on the staff of General G.W. Deitzler (Kansas Militia) and saw action at the battle of Westport, MO. He was honored by Brevet to Major for his War service.

After the War

After the War he operated newspapers in New York, Kansas and by about 1880 in Chicago, IL.

References & notes

Basic information from State of New York1. Thanks to Devan Sommerville for scrubbing through the Report and extracting and transcribing the roster data for AotW. Additional details and the quote above from Washburn2.


03/25/1831; Rochester, NY


09/03/1892; Woodland Park, IL


1   State of New York, Adjutant-General, Annual Report of the Adjutant General of the State of New York [year]: Registers of the [units], 43 Volumes, Albany: James B. Lyon, State Printer, 1893-1905, Issue 34 (for the year 1903)  [AotW citation 9044]

2   Washburn, George H., A Complete Military History and Record of the 108th Regiment N.Y. Vols., Rochester (NY): Press of E.R. Andrews, 1894, pp. 225 - 226, 462 - 463  [AotW citation 9047]