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 • Stillwater
 • Washington County
 • Minnesota
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Sgt John D. Densmore
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Birth: 1841
Death: Jul. 5, 1879

John D. Densmore

Residence was not listed; 20 years old.
Enlisted on 5/22/1861 at Washington County , MN as a Corporal.
On 5/22/1861 he mustered into "B" Co. MN 1st Infantry
(date and method of discharge not given)
He was listed as: Wounded 7/2/1863 Gettysburg, PA
Promotions: Sergt

John D Densmore was born in Magudadic, New Brunswick in 1841.

When war broke out the 20 year old enlisted in Company B. He must have been a competent soldier. Captain Downie promoted him to Color Corporal in June, 1862. As a member of the color guard, he was entrusted with the regimental flag that the men cherished so much.

During the battle, at Gettysburg, A bullet vitually tore off his thumb. Another went through his chest and still another hit him high in the leg, exciting through his buttocks. He was on his way down when a fourth bullet hit him in the mouth, ripping away most of his jaw. The wound was later described as follows,

"...a gunshot wound in the head, the ball entering about three fourths of an inch below the left corner of the mouth, passing onward and carrying away a large portion of the under jaw and lodging below the mouth on the right side of the face near the windpipe."

He lay on the field until dark, when Surgeon LeBlond came upon him. John was brought to a field hospital and was expected to die there. Adjutant Lochren listed him as mortally wounded. He was not sent to a Corps hospital away from the battlefield, because he was too weak to move. He was left in Gettysburg, with other comrades who were expected to die, and most of them did.

Incredibly, however, he survived. His thumb had to be amputated below the second joint. He was eventually moved to a hospital in Harrisburg, PA. He was there as of Feb 23, 1864 according to an article in the Stillwater Messenger. He was mustered out with the regiment as a sergeant.
John's health was frequently bad and on July 5, 1879, he died of a seizure.

The life of John Densmore is one of the sadder tales of the Civil War. Too often a story is told of the glorious deeds done on the battlefield. Another kind of heroism comes after the war, however, with a man struggling for years with great pyhsical impairments and living on a meager pension. The fact that John Densmore refused to give up at Gettysburg and carried on for years afterward is a tribute to his courage.


Fairview Cemetery
Washington County
Minnesota, USA
Created by: Bev
Record added: Sep 02, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15588784
Sgt John D. Densmore
Added by: John McCallum
Sgt John D. Densmore
Cemetery Photo
Added by: John Sammons
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It's good to see you again my friend.
- Ken Martens
 Added: Apr. 28, 2011

- Tom Mauer
 Added: Apr. 4, 2009

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