David Bell Birney

David Bell Birney

Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, USA
Death 18 Oct 1864 (aged 39)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Section CC, Lot 52
Memorial ID 4289 · View Source
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Civil War Union Army Major General. Born In Huntsville Alabama, son of abolitionist James G Birney. The Birney family moved to Kentucky in 1833 and freed their slaves, then moved to Cincinnati, Michigan, and finally Philadelphia. Birney graduated from Phillips Academy, where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1856. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War, Birney benefitted from his political connections and was named Lt. Colonel of the 23rd Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, which he raised. Promoted to full Colonel and then to Brigadier General on Feb. 17 1862. He commanded a brigade during the Peninsular Campaign and at the Second Battle of Bull Run took over command of Brig. General Phil Kearney's division when Kearney was killed. Birneys division then fought at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville where his division suffered more casualties than any other in the Army. Promoted to Major General on May 20 1863 he arrived at Gettysburg with 2 brigades and went into position along Cemetery Ridge, but was ordered to hold the front from the Peach Orchard to Little Round Top with too few men. This front was decimated and with General Sickles being wounded, Birney was put in command as the Peach Orchard was being overrun, soon to be replaced by Maj. General Winfield Hancock. Birney's health began to deteriorate in the summer of 1864 and he died on October 18th of that year.

Bio by: JustinM

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 4 Jan 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 4289
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Bell Birney (29 May 1825–18 Oct 1864), Find a Grave Memorial no. 4289, citing Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .