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A.L. Magilton

A.L. Magilton

Federal (USV)


Albert Lewis Magilton

(1826 - 1875)

Home State: Pennsylvania

Education: US Military Academy, West Point, NY, Class of 1846;Class Rank: 18th

Command Billet: Brigade Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Corps


see his Battle Report

Before Antietam

He grew up in Philadelphia, the son of an Irish-born carpenter and won a competition for a West Point appointment in 1842, not quite 16 years old. After graduating in July 1846 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th US Artillery and served in the Mexican War (1846 - 48), where he was honored by brevet (to First Lieutenant) for action at Contreras and Cherubusco. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in 1849, saw action against Seminoles in Florida, and served in the West. He was made Captain in June 1857 but resigned from the Army in December of that year.

He was in the fuel business in Philadelphia and was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves in June 1861. He was appointed Colonel of the 4th Reserves on 4 October 1861. He was wounded by gunshot at Charles City Crossroads, VA on 30 June 1862.

On the Campaign

At South Mountain on September 14th, General Meade having succeeded to the command of the division, Colonel Magilton assumed command of the Second Brigade. He led it there and at Antietam on the 17th.

The rest of the War

He resigned from the service 23 December 1862, shortly after Fredericksburg. He taught infantry tactics at the Philadelphia Free Military School (for officers of Colored Troops) in 1864.

After the War

He lived in Philadelphia and was Deputy Collector of US Revenue from 1864 to his death from liver disease at age 49.

References & notes

Service from Heitman1 and Hunt.2 Further details from his memorial in the [USMA] Annual Reunion (1876). The photograph above from Second Brigade of the Pennsylvania Reserves at Antietam (1908) scanned and kindly provided by John David Hoptak.


07/08/1826; New Castle, DE


12/28/1875; Philadelphia, PA; burial in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA


1   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. 684  [AotW citation 22700]

2   Hunt, Roger D., Colonels in Blue: Union Army Colonels of the Civil War - Mid Atlantic States, Mechanicsburg (PA): Stackpole Books, 2007, pg. 108  [AotW citation 22701]