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JOHN SEDGWICK (1813–1864)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 578 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN SEDGWICK (1813–1864), American general, was born at Cornwall, Connecticut, on the 13th of September 1813, and graduated at West Point in 1837. Amongst his classmates were Joseph Hooker, Braxton Bragg and J. A. Early. He saw active service against the Seminoles in Florida, and took part as an artillery officer in the Mexican War, winning the brevets of captain and major for his conduct at Contreras-Churubusco and Chapultepec. In command first of a brigade and later of a division in the Army of the Potomac, he took part in the Seven Days' and Maryland campaigns. At the battle of Antietam he was twice wounded, but remained on the field. Soon afterwards he was given command of the VI. corps, in which position he took an important part in the battle of Chancellorsville, capturing the famous lines of Fredericksburg and fighting the severe battle of Bank's Ford. The VI. corps bore a share in the battle of Gettysburg, having made a fine forced march to the field. Sedgwick had been offered the chief command of the army upon Hooker's resignation; but he declined, and retained his command of the VI. corps during the Virginian campaign of the autumn of 1863, being on several occasions placed by Meade in charge of a wing of the army. He was also given the command of the whole army in Meade's absence. At the action of Rappahannock station Sedgwick by a brilliant night attack destroyed two brigades of Early's division (November 7th). When Grant became commanding-general and the Army of the Potomac was reorganized in three corps, the VI. was one of these, and Sedgwick thus led his old corps, now greatly augmented, at the battle of the Wilderness. At the opening of the battle of Spottsylvania Court House, Sedgwick was killed (9th of May 1864) by a shot from a Confederate skirmisher. A monument to his memory, cast from the guns taken in action by the VI. corps, was erected at West Point in 1868.
End of Article: JOHN SEDGWICK (1813–1864)
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