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 Daniel Phineas Woodbury
Cenotaph

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Daniel Phineas Woodbury

  • Birth 16 Dec 1812 New London, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, USA
  • Death 15 Aug 1864 Key West, Monroe County, Florida, USA
  • Cenotaph Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Plot Chapel Hill, Lot 506.
  • Memorial ID 39824311

Civil War Union Brigadier General. An 1836 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, he was first briefly posted as a 2nd Lieutenant to the 3rd United States Artillery before being transferred to the Engineer Corps. From that time until the Civil War his service consisted of working on the construction of numerous roadways and military fortifications, both on the eastern United States seaboard and on the western frontier, the most notable being Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, Florida, where he was Superintending Engineer during it’s construction. When the Civil War started he served on the staff of Major General David Hunter, participating in the July 1861 Battle of First Bull Run, Promoted to Major in the Regular Army in August 1861, he was then detailed to help construct the defenses that protected Washington, DC. He received a commission of Lieutenant Colonel, Additional-Aide-de-Camp, US Volunteers a month later, and was promoted to Brigadier General, US Volunteers in March 1862. Given command of an Engineer brigade in the Army of the Potomac, he led his men as they constructed roadways and bridges, and scouted fortifications during the 1862 Peninsular Campaign. His brigade was assigned to the Washington, DC defenses during the September 1862 Antietam Campaign, but returned to the Army of the Potomac for the late fall movement against Fredericksburg, Virginia. Charged with providing pontoon bridges to the army, he received criticism then and now for not getting them to the Army in manner timely enough for the success of the campaign. The delay caused by late arrival of the pontoons has been cited as a critical reason why the Confederate Army under General Robert E. Lee had time to prepare impregnable positions south of the town along Marye’s Heights – positions that thousands of Union soldiers were thrown unsuccessfully against during the December 14, 1862 battle. During the campaign, though, General Woodbury’s men were praised for their work erecting the pontoon bridges over the Rappahannock River under fire that allowed the Union army to cross over it. In March 1863 he was assigned to command the District of Key West, Florida, where he died of yellow fever on August 15, 1864. He was posthumously brevetted Major General, US Volunteers for “gallant and meritorious services during the war”, and Brigadier General, US Regular Army for “gallant and meritorious services during the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia”. One of the many forts that surrounded Washington, DC was named Fort Woodbury after his death, His remains were eventually interred in Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, Florida, and a cenotaph exists for him in his family plot in Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, DC, where his wife is buried.

Bio by: Russ


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: SLGMSD
  • Added: 24 Jul 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 39824311
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Daniel Phineas Woodbury (16 Dec 1812–15 Aug 1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 39824311, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .