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E. Rice

E. Rice

Federal (USV)


Edmund Rice

(1842 - 1906)

Home State: Massachusetts

Education: Norwich University (VT, Class of 1860)

Command Billet: Company Officer

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 19th Massachusetts Infantry

Before Antietam

After just under 3 years at college, he served on the crew of a sailing ship and voyaged to the Asian Pacific.1 At the outbreak of the War he enlisted as Captain in the 3-month 14th Massachusetts, and in August 1861 was commissioned Captain in the 19th Massachusetts. 2

On the Campaign

He was wounded in the leg by artillery fire at Antietam.1,3

The rest of the War

He was commissioned Major on October 1, 1862,2 and led the regiment at Gettysburg. He was wounded there, and received the Medal of Honor for his bravery and leadership at the battle.

He was again wounded, then captured, at the "Bloody Angle" at Spottsylvania in May 1864 but escaped from his captors enroute to prison and walked 400 miles to get back to Federal lines.3 He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 27 July 1864, and honorably mustered out of the Volunteer service 30 June 1865, still in command of the 19th.2

During the War he was cited at least 3 times, by brevet, for gallant service at Antietam, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness.2

After the War

In July 1866 he was appointed 1st Lieutenant in the 40th US Infantry (Regular Army). He was assigned to the 5th Infantry 31 Dec 1870, serving as Regimental Adjutant (5 July 1879 to 10 Mar 1883). He made Captain 10 March 1883. He was appointed Lt Colonel and Inspector General in the US Volunteers during the Spanish-American War on 9 May 1898, and Colonel of the 6th Massachusetts Vol. Infantry 9 Aug 1898. He was promoted to Colonel of the 26th US Volunteer Infantry 5 July 1899, and again discharged from the Volunteers 13 May 1901.

Meanwhile he had received appointment as Major, USA, in the 3rd US Infantry as of August 1898 and as Lt Colonel of the 2nd US 2 Feb 1901. He was Colonel of the 19th US Infantry on 5 May 1902. He retired from the Army in 1903 as a Brigadier General [date of commission?].2

References & notes

Photograph above is from the USAMHI, as published by Davis,4 who misidentifies Rice's unit as the 17th Michigan.

The USAMHI has at least one more photo of Rice in its Collection, a full standing pose.5 Rice is also featured in the Dale Gallon historical painting of the Battle of Gettysburg called "Clubs Are Trumps!"


12/2/1842; Cambridge, MA


7/20/1906; Boston, MA; burial in Arlington National Cemetery, VA


1   Nitch, Steven, Brigadier General Edmund Rice, Published c. 1999, first accessed 01 January 2000, <>  [AotW citation 457]

2   Heitman, Francis Bernard, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army 1789-1903, 2 volumes, Washington DC: US Government Printing Office, 1903, pp. 426-427  [AotW citation 458]

3   Poirier, Robert G., By The Blood Of Our Alumni: Norwich University Citizen-Soldiers In The Army of the Potomac, Mason City (Ia): Savas Publishing, 1998  [AotW citation 459]

4   Davis, William C., editor, and William A. Frassanito, photographic consultant, Touched by Fire: Photographic Portrait of the Civil War, 2 vol, single cover, New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 1997, pg. 262  [AotW citation 460]

5   US Army, Military History Institute (USAMHI), American Civil War (ACW) photographs, Military History Institute Photograph Database, Published c. 1998, first accessed 01 January 2005, <>, Source page: ID# RG98S-CWP13.105  [AotW citation 461]