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 Oliver Edwards

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Oliver Edwards

  • Birth 30 Jan 1835 Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 28 Apr 1904 Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 5894356

Civil War Union Brigadier General. Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, he moved to Warsaw, Illinois, once he turned 21. Here, he entered the foundry business until the Civil War began. He immediately moved back to his home state where he enlisted. He mustered in on June 21, 1861, as 1st Lieutenant and adjutant of the 10th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Subsequently appointed an aide on the staff of Major General Darius N. Couch, he served capably during the Peninsula Campaign in spring 1862 and returned to field command on September 4 as Colonel of the 37th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Assigned to a brigade in Major General John Newton's division of the VI Corps, he led them with distinction in the Battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. After the latter engagement, he temporarily commanded a special brigade that was rushed to New York City to quell the Draft Riots. Returning to regimental command in the spring of 1864, he led the 37th Massachusetts at the Battle of the Wilderness, and a few days later he resumed brigade command at Spotsylvania. On May 12 his brigade charged the Confederate "Mule Shoe," and in the course of this vicious struggle, he commanded 21 regiments for 13 hours. In July the VI Corps transferred to the Shenandoah Valley, where it participated in the successful Union campaigning. During the Federal victory at the Battle of Third Winchester, on September 19, he gallantly led his brigade. For his distinguished conduct on this day and at Spotsylvania, he was brevetted Brigadier General. When the Federals advanced up the valley after their victory, he assumed command of Winchester, protecting hospitals and ensuring the flow of supplies. Offered the post of provost marshal general of the Middle Military District, he declined. He returned with the VI Corps late in 1864 to Petersburg, Virginia. When the Union army finally broke the Confederate lines, on April 2, 1865, he accepted the surrender of the city from its mayor. Some days later, at Sayler's Creek, his brigade captured Confederate Generals Richard S. Ewell and George Washington Custis Lee, and an entire Confederate brigade. Brevetted Major General for this exploit, he received the full rank of Brigadier General on May 19, 1865. After the war he returned to Warsaw, where he served 3 terms as its mayor. He briefly entered the manufacturing business in Massachusetts but returned to his adopted community, where he would later die.

Bio by: Ugaalltheway


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 26 Oct 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5894356
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Oliver Edwards (30 Jan 1835–28 Apr 1904), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5894356, citing Oakland Cemetery, Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .