In each regiment there were officers whose duties did not require that they should go into action — the Chaplain
, the Quartermaster
, and the Surgeons
Although they had no tactical position in the line of battle, there was a loss of life among their number which entitles them to some other place in the records of the war than that of mere non-combatants.
Many of them waived their exemption front danger, and gallantly volunteered for service in the field; while others — the surgeons, for instance — attended calmly to the performance of their duties amid perils which would test the stoutest heart.
Though the surgeons seldom took an active part in a battle, they were required to be near, and much of the time were under fire.
Some of them went on the field with their regiments in order to render timely aid; others were stationed near by at some field hospital, where they often found themselves exposed to serious danger.
During the war, 40 Surgeons were killed and 73 wounded while bravely attending to their duties on the battle field.
They had not the excitement of the fight to dull their sense of danger; they had not the incentive of promotion; they were not spurred by ambitious hopes; victory might bring laurels to others, but not to them; they met their fate, actuated and sustained by no other impulse than the sense of duty.
Many Surgeons died from disease while in the service, and their names also lengthen the Roll of Honor.
A record of these patriots,--their names and regiments, and the battles in which they lost their lives,--appears in the Medical and Surgical History of the war.
Several lives were also lost among the Quartermasters, some of them having been killed while serving as volunteer aids, while others fell while attending to the duties of their position when under fire.
Among the first to scale the heights of Missionary Ridge
was a Quartermaster-Sergeant
of a Michigan regiment, who had borrowed a gun and volunteered for the fight.
It will, doubtless, be a surprise to many to note the number of Chaplains killed in battle.
These gallant members of the Church
Militant were wont to take a more active part in the fighting than has been generally credited to them.
They were frequently seen in the thickest of the fight, some of them handling a rifle with the skill of a marksman, while others, unarmed, would move about among their men encouraging them to do their best.
Among the Chaplains killed in action, there were:
|Name. ||Regiment. ||Battle. |
|Rev. Arthur B. Fuller, ||16th Massachusetts, ||Fredericksburg. |
|Rev. Orlando N. Benton, ||51st New York, ||New Berne. |
|Rev. John M. Springer, ||3d Wisconsin, ||Resaca. |
|Rev. Francis E. Butler, ||25th New Jersey, ||Siege of Suffolk. |
|Rev. John L. Walther, ||43d Illinois, ||Shiloh. |
|Rev. Levi W. Sanders, ||125th Illinois, ||Caldwell's Ferry. |
|Rev. John W. Eddy, ||72d Indiana, ||Hoover's Gap. |
|Rev. Horatio S. Howell, ||90th Pennsylvania, ||Gettysburg. |
|Rev. Thomas L. Ambrose, ||12th New Hampshire, ||Petersburg. |
|Rev. George W. Bartlett, ||1st Maine Cavalry, ||Cold Harbor. |
|Rev. George W. Densmore, ||1st Wisconsin Cavalry, ||L'Anguille Ferry. |