A note on General Israel B. Richardson

General Israel B. Richardson (from Battles And Leaders Of The Civil War)


As September 17, 2012 was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, this post is to honor General Israel B. Richardson who lost his life as a result of the engagement. He died on November 3, 1862 in General McClellan’s headquarters at  Pry’s house. Battles And Leaders Of The Civil War gives an account of Richardson’s fall as had been reported by General Caldwell. The words describe well the carnage and horror that must have been that day.  He noted:

“The enemy made one more effort to break my line, and this time the attack was made in the center. Colonel Barlow {General Francis C.}, hearing the firing to his left, on our old front, immediately moved to the left and formed in line with the rest of the brigade. The whole brigade then moved forward in line, driving the enemy entirely out of the corn-field and through the orchard beyond, the enemy firing grape and canister from two brass pieces in the orchard to our front, and shell and sherical case-shot from a battery on our right. While leading his men forward under the fire, Colonel Barlow fell dangerously wounded by a grape-shot in the groin. By command of General Richardson, I halted the brigade, and, drawing back the line, re-formed it near the edge of the corn-field. It was now 1 o’clock p.m. Here we lay exposed to a heavy artillery fire, by which General Richardson was severely wounded. The fall of General Richardson (General Meagher having been previously borne from the field) left me in command of the division, which I formed in line, awaiting the enemy’s attack. Not long after, I was relieved of the command by General Hancock, who had been assigned to the command of the division by General McClellan.”


The Israel B. Richardson Camp (Camp #2) of the Department of Michigan, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War proudly bears the name of this loyal Union General who paid the “ultimate sacrifice” of his life. Rest in peace Israel B. Richardson. You served well.

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One Response to “A note on General Israel B. Richardson”

  1. Kevin Lindsey says:

    Well put. In his honor I was also reading about him at Antietam on the 17th.

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