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B. H. Child

B. H. Child

Federal (USV)


Benjamin Ham Child

(1843 - 1902)

Home State: Rhode Island

Command Billet: Artilleryman

Branch of Service: Artillery

Unit: 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, Battery A

Before Antietam

"He was a youth of eighteen at the opening of the civil war, and in June 1861 he enlisted as private, and was mustered into the United States service in the Second Rhode Island Battery, afterwards Battery A, First Regiment, Rhode Island Light Artillery, for three years, or for the war. At the first Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, he was slightly wounded and in August following was promoted to corporal."1

On the Campaign

He was wounded in combat on 17 September, but insisted on returning to duty in command of his piece. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery there.

The rest of the War

"[After Antietam] he was promoted to Sergeant. At Gettysburg, in Pickett's charge, he received a severe wound—shot through the left shoulder—and was sent to the Satterlee Hospital at West Philadelphia. And in August 1863 he was commissioned second Lieutenant of Battery A (afterwards transferred to Battery H, same regiment) by Governor James V. Smith. After serving forty-three months in the Second Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, and three times wounded, he was honorably discharged on account of wounds, by special order of General Meade, commanding the Army of the Potomac."1

After the War

In 1868 he joined the police department of Providence, and was successively promoted to Doorman in 1874, Sergeant in 1877, Captain in 1879, and was appointed Chief of Police, January 5, I881.

References & notes

Photograph above from Battery A, 1st Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery Unit Association2 by kind permission of Gregg Mierka.

More on the Web

See a bio sketch and later photograph of him from the Toolmakers site1.


5/8/1843; Providence, RI




1   Weaver, Barry, and Richard Slaney, Robert Bills, Keith Bills, Sue Bacheller, researchers, Benjaminam Ham Child, Early RI Toolmakers & Tradesmen, Published c. 2000, first accessed 01 June 2004, <,J.E./ChildBenjHam.html>, Source page: Child  [AotW citation 63]

2   Mierka, Greg, webmaster, Battery A Rhode Island Unit Association History Page, Published c. 2001, first accessed 10 June 2005, <>, Source page: history  [AotW citation 64]