Joshua W. Sill

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Joshua Woodrow Sill (1831-1862) - Born 6 Dec 1831, Chillicothe, Ohio. Died 31 Dec 1862, Battle of Stones River, outside of Murfreesboro, Tennesse.

Joshua W. Sill

West Point

He was appointed to the United States Military Academy, West Point in 1849 and graduated 3rd of 52 in the Class of 1853.

Early Military Career

Upon graduation, he was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in ordnance and assigned to the Watervliet Arsenal, West Troy, New York. He was recalled to West Point, 23 Sep 1854, as assistant professor of geography, history, and ethics. After two years there, he was assigned to the Pittsburgh Arsenal, where he was occupied with the testing of ordnance equipment

In May 1858, Sill was sent to Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory, to manage the building of Vancouver Arsenal. Difficulties with the British Government prevented the construction of this arsenal and he was reassigned to Watervliet Arsenal. A few months at this facility, he was ordered to Fort Leavenworth. He resigned his commission 25 Jan 1861 and accepted the professorship of mathematics and civil engineering in the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute.

U.S. Civil War

At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War he was appointed Assistant Adjutant General of the State of Ohio. In Aug 1861 he was commissioned Colonel of the 33rd Ohio Volunteers and accompanied General Nelson in the Eastern Kentucky expedition. His regiment was then assigned to General Ormsby M. Mitchel's Division, and Sill was placed in command of a Brigade and was promoted to the rank of Brig. Gen. This promotion was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 29, 1862. Shortly thereafter, he was made commanding general of a division.

He was given command of a brigade in General Philip H. Sheridan's Division, and took part in the Battle of Stones River, the bloodiest battle of the U.S. Civil War. On 31 Dec 1862, in the second day of this battle, General Sill was killed by rifle fire while personally leading his men forward. His body was buried by Confederate troops in a battlefield cemetery near the scene of his death and later removed to the Grandview Cemetery in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Father: Joseph Sill (1786-1875) Born 27 Apr 1786, Granville, New York. Died 25 Nov 1875, Chillicothe, Ross, Ohio

Mother: Elizabeth Woodrow (-1840)




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  • The Union Army A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-65 -- Records of the Regiments in the Union Army -- Cyclopedia of Battles -- Memoirs of Commanders and Soldiers, volume 8 of 8, Madison: Federal Publishing, 1908.


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