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Federal (USV)


Theodore Barber Day


(1841 - 1926)

Home State: Wisconsin

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Wisconsin Infantry

Before Antietam

In 1860 he was an 18 year old apprentice to wagon maker D.H. Budd in Lancaster, Grant County, WI. He enlisted on 22 April 1861 and mustered as a Private in Company C, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry on 11 June 1861 at Camp Randall in Madison, WI.

On the Campaign

He was wounded by a gunshot to his right knee in action at Antietam on 17 September 1862.

The rest of the War

He was in hospitals to at least April 1863, lastly at the Wolfe Street Hospital in Alexandria, VA. Family lore has it that he'd refused amputation and:

They [doctors] bound his leg straight and told him he must not bend it until it was healed. But he reasoned that if he didn’t bend it until it fully healed, he would never bend it ... Doctors would make their rounds twice a day, checking their patients. TB, or Ted as some preferred, would unwrap his wounded leg, sit on the edge of his bed and swing it back and forth. He had ambulatory patients posted to warn him when the doctors were coming. When they were seen coming towards his building, he would quickly straighten his leg and bind it back up. The doctor would unwrap it, inspect it and declare it ok and rebind it. When the group left, TB would unwrap it and swing it back and forth ...
Disabled for field service, he was detailed to the Invalid Corps (later Veteran Reserve Corps) on 15 April 1863 and formally transferred to Company A, First Regiment, VRC on 1 July 1863. He served with them at Washington, DC and was discharged there at the end of his term of enlistment on 30 March 1864, but reenlisted.

He was promoted to Corporal on 5 August 1864 and was with the VRC on duty at the prison at Elmira, NY by December 1864. He was promoted again, to Sergeant in January 1865 and was discharged at Elmira, NY on 17 November 1865.

After the War

By 1870 he was a farmer at Center Township in Fayette County, IA, moved to Kansas in 1873, and in 1880 was farming in Reno County, KS. Soon after he went to Pueblo, CO, briefly lived in Montana, then went on to Oregon in about 1882. In 1900 he had a farm at Paradise in Wallowa County, OR and by 1910 had retired in Asotin County, WA. He became a resident of the Soldiers' Home in Rentil, Kitsap County, WA in May 1913 and died there on 28 October 1926.

References & notes

His service information from State of Wisconsin1 and his 1874 Pension Card, online from fold3. Personal details from family genealogists, notably great and great-great grandsons Terence and Daniel Day in their Life History (2017), source also of the quote above, the US Census of 1860-1920, and his death notice in the Asotin County Sentinel of 29 October 1926. His gravesite is on Findagrave.

Thanks to descendant Sam Day for the pointer to look further into Theodore, and for the excellent post-war photograph of him.

He married Rachel Ann Day (relationship not known, possibly cousins, 1838-1871) in December 1865 in Blairsville, PA; they had two sons Charles and William. He married again, Anna Amelia Koecke (1849-1918) in August 1872 and they had 7 children. He married for the third time, the widow Mina May Hall McGoodin (1850-1928), also a resident of the Home, in October 1919.


12/01/1841; Lancaster, WI


10/28/1926; Retsil, WA; burial in Washington Veterans Home Cemetery, Retsil, WA


1   State of Wisconsin, Adjutant General's Office, and Chandler P. Chapman, Adj. Gen., Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, 2 volumes, Madison: Democrat Printing Co., State Printers, 1886, Vol. 1, pg. 354  [AotW citation 10140]