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 • Wayne County
 • Indiana
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Pvt Joseph O. Addleman
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Birth: unknown
Death: Sep. 17, 1862

Civil War veteran; he enlisted for the Union as a Private on July 29, 1861 with the "Richmond City Greys" - the boys of Company B, 19th Indiana Infantry regiment. This regiment was part of the famed Iron Brigade of the West, or "Black Hats Brigade." Proportionately, they suffered the most casualties of any brigade in the Civil War.

All of the men from Company B, including Pvt. Addleman, were residents of Wayne County, Indiana. He was the son of William Addleman and Mary Elliott. Before the war, he had been a farm worker. He was 19 years of age. His brothers, John and Jacob, had also enlisted in Company B. His cousin, Andrew Addleman, was in Company K. The Addleman family's sacrifice would be great before the end of the war.

Two nights before the Battle of Antietam, the men of the 19th Indiana had little sleep. The following day, they marched all day to get to Sharpsburg, Virginia and slept soundly during the night. When the morning broke, they were ready for battle. The 19th Indiana followed a brook that ran between the David R. Miller house and barn and formed a line of battle to the right of the 7th Wisconsin. Lieutenant Colonel Bachman sent Company B forward into the timber as skirmishers. The 19th Indiana was on the extreme right flank of the Union Army.

Between the two armies lay a cornfield owned by David R. Miller. The corn was ready to harvest, but the field would soon be transformed into an altar "where men in blue and gray would sacrifice their all for honor, duty, and love of regiment."

The fog that had covered the field at dawn lifted and firing broke out at about 10:30 a.m. The battle intensified quickly. Taking heavy fire, the Union ranks fought back. The Rebel skirmish line was pushed back and it appeared the way was clear for an advance.

Seeing the enemy disappear beyond a small hill in the cornfield and abandon their cannon on its crest, Bachman pushed himself through the ranks, drew his sword, and shouted with his deep bass voice, "Boys, the command is no longer forward, but now it is follow me!" He gave the order to double-quick and his Hoosiers sprang forward with a cheer into a spirited bayonet charge. Some of the men from the 7th Wisconsin joined in on the left and most of the 21st New York joined in on the right.

They reached the top of the hill and came face to face with the Rebel line of battle, waiting in reserve. Just after Bachman was struck by two minie balls, Private Joseph Addleman received a mortal wound and stumbled into the arms of his Captain, William Wade Dudley.

From dawn to dark on this day, September 17, 1862, the two armies attacked each other. No clear victor emerged and the fighting stopped out of sheer exhaustion. Lee withdrew during the night of September 18, and re-crossed the Potomac. Tactically, the battle was a draw. Strategically, it was won by the Union.

The cost on both sides was so high - over 23,000 casualties - that it would be known as the bloodiest day in American combat history. "The whole landscape for an instant turned red," one northern soldier later wrote. Another veteran recalled that the cornfield was "so full of bodies that a man could have walked through it without stepping on the ground." Private Joseph Addleman lay among them. His body was buried on the battlefield.

Three months after his brother Jacob's death, Joseph's remains were disinterred, shipped home and buried next to his brother. The two brothers were buried next to their cousin, Sergeant Andrew Addleman, who had died the previous January.

The inscription on Joseph's marker reads:

Sleep on my brave boy for thy warfare is ended. Thou art resting at last in the land of thy birth, though fire of battle claimed thee bright angel and sent thee beyond all the sorrow of earth.

-Biography by C. K. Coffin


Sources:

Battle of Antietam: Carnage in a Cornfield, America's Civil War. http://www.historynet.com

Carnage at Antietam, 1862. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com

Harris, Phil. Regiment and burial research, photo of marker.
http://19thindianaironbrigade.com

Gaff, Alan D. On Many a Bloody Field, Indiana University
Press, 1999.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Michael Addleman (1802 - 1884)
 
 Siblings:
  Joseph O. Addleman (____ - 1862)
  John H. Addleman (1836 - 1928)*
  Jacob O. Addleman (1840 - 1862)*
  William Oberline Addleman (1846 - 1915)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Whitewater Cemetery
Whitewater
Wayne County
Indiana, USA
 
Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
Record added: Mar 10, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34649637
Pvt Joseph O. Addleman
Added by: Ted Martin
 
Pvt Joseph O. Addleman
Added by: Cindy K. Coffin
 
Pvt Joseph O. Addleman
Added by: Cindy K. Coffin
 
 
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- Eric Lowman
 Added: Nov. 2, 2014

- Iamme
 Added: Jul. 21, 2010
Your "last full measure" will never be forgotten.
- Ted Martin
 Added: Jun. 14, 2009
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