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W. Cogswell

W. Cogswell

Federal (USV)


William Cogswell

(1838 - 1895)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Dartmouth, Harvard Law

Command Billet: Company Commander

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

A lawyer from Salem, he mustered into service as Captain, Company C, 2nd Massachusetts Infantry at age 22 on 25 May 1861.

The rest of the War

He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel on 23 October 1862, and was wounded in action at Chancellorsville, VA on 3 May 1863. He was promoted to Colonel on 6 June 1863. He was honored by brevet to Brigadier General to date from 15 December 1864. He mustered out of service in June 1865.

After the War

He returned to his law practice and held a number of elected offices: he was Mayor of Salem for terms in 1867–69 and 1873-74. He was in the Massachusetts House of Representatives 1870-71 and 1881–1883 and the State Senate 1885-86. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1886 and served there until his death in 1895.

References & notes

Service data from the Massachusetts AG1. Further details from his Congressional Biography2. The photograph here from a CDV auctioned by Cowen's in 2003.

His brother George B Cosgrove was also at Antietam, Surgeon of the 29th Massachusetts Infantry.


08/23/1838; Bradford, MA


05/22/1895; Washington, DC; burial in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, 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. 1, pg. 88  [AotW citation 9772]

2   US Congress, Congressional Biographical Directory, Published c. 2000, first accessed 01 January 2002, <>, Source page: /scripts/  [AotW citation 9773]