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 John Sedgwick

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John Sedgwick

  • Birth 13 Sep 1813 Cornwall Hollow, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 9 May 1864 Spotsylvania, Spotsylvania County, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Cornwall Hollow, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 6475

Civil War Union Major General. One of the best known Corps commanders of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. General Sedgwick, a 1837 West Point graduate, served in the Mexican War and on the US Frontier, often with many army officers who would become generals for both the South and the North in the war. He commanded a division in the Second Corps during General George B. McClellan's Pennisular compaign, the Second Bull Run campaign, and the Battle of Antietam, where his command was nearly cut off and destroyed. General Sedgwick was wounded three times in the battle. He assumed command of the AOP's VI Corps just before the Battle of Chancellorsville, and led it during the adjunct Battle at Salem Church. His Corps was held in reserve at Gettysburg, where General Sedgwick was positioned to stop any serious break in Union lines. He directed with great skill Corps operations in successive engagments right up to the Battle of Spotsylvania in May 1864. There he jokingly berated some of the soldiers in the position for ducking from fire by Confederate sharpshooters. He is reported to have told them "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance" a few moments before was shot below the left eye and instantly killed. His death was a great shock to both Federals and Confederates (he had been affectionately called "Uncle John" by his troops). General Ulysses Grant reportedly kept asking "Is he really dead?" upon hearing the news.

Bio by: Russ

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 27 Sep 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6475
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Sedgwick (13 Sep 1813–9 May 1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6475, citing Cornwall Hollow Cemetery, Cornwall Hollow, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .