Edwin H. Stoughton
|Edwin Henry Stoughton|
Edwin H. Stoughton
June 23, 1838|
|Died||December 25, 1868
New York City, New York
|Place of burial||Immanuel Cemetery, Rockingham, Vermont|
|Allegiance||United States of America
|Years of service||1859 - 1863|
|Rank||Brigadier General (temporary)|
|Commands held||4th Vermont Infantry
2nd Vermont Brigade
|Battles/wars||American Civil War|
Edwin Henry Stoughton (June 23, 1838 - December 25, 1868), was appointed a brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War but his appointment was not confirmed and it expired. Four days later, on March 8, 1863, in a famous incident, he was captured while asleep at his headquarters at Fairfax Court House, Virginia by Confederate partisan ranger John S. Mosby. Stoughton resigned after his exchange two months later when he was not reappointed as a brigadier general. Thereafter he was a lawyer in New York City until his death in 1868 at the age of 30.
He was appointed a cadet at the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1854, and graduated with the class of 1859. He served garrison duty as a brevet 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. 4th Infantry Regiment from July to September 1859. He was promoted to 2nd lieutenant, and transferred to the U.S. 6th Infantry Regiment.
He resigned his regular commission in March 1861, and in September was appointed colonel of the 4th Vermont Infantry, and led his command in the Peninsula Campaign. Stoughton was only 23 years old and said to be the youngest colonel in the army at the time of his appointment.
In November 1862, he was appointed Brigadier General, Volunteers, and assumed command of the 2nd Vermont Brigade on December 7, replacing Colonel Asa P. Blunt. Stoughton's brother, Charles B. Stoughton, assumed command of the 4th Vermont Infantry in his stead. Stoughton's appointment was never confirmed by the U.S. Senate and it expired March 4, 1863, less than a week before Mosby's Fairfax Court House Raid.
Mosby's Rangers (led by Confederate officer John S. Mosby) led a daring raid into Union Territory and captured Stoughton at Fairfax Court House on March 9, 1863. Stoughton had hosted a party for his visiting mother and sister, who were staying at the home of Confederate spy Antonia Ford. After leaving the party, Stoughton retired to a nearby house that served as his headquarters. Mosby allegedly found Stoughton in bed, rousing him with a slap to his rear. Upon being so rudely awakened, the general shouted, "Do you know who I am?" Mosby quickly replied, "Do you know Mosby, general?" "Yes! Have you got the rascal?" "No but he has got you!" Apparently, Edwin H. Stoughton was not popular with the officers and men of the brigade, and few mourned his loss. President Lincoln, on hearing of the capture, said "he did not so much mind the loss of a brigadier general, for he could make another in five minutes; 'but those horses cost $125 apiece!'" Colonel Blunt assumed command of the brigade again, turning it over to the new commander, Brigadier General George J. Stannard, on April 20, who led the brigade until the Battle of Gettysburg.
After a two-month stay in Richmond's Libby Prison, Stoughton was exchanged, but saw no further service. The United States Senate had not confirmed his initial appointment and he was not re-appointed. He resigned from the Union Army in May 1863 and moved to New York.
- Benedict, G. G., Vermont in the Civil War. A History of the part taken by the Vermont Soldiers And Sailors in the War For The Union, 1861-5. Burlington, VT.: The Free Press Association, 1888, i:105, 157-165, 259-260, 293, 321; ii:404, 410, 419-422, 426-430, 778.
- Crockett, Walter Hill, Vermont The Green Mountain State, New York: The Century History Company, Inc., 1921, iii:516, 537, 541, 557.
- Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Peck, Theodore S., compiler, Revised Roster of Vermont Volunteers and lists of Vermonters Who Served in the Army and Navy of the United States During the War of the Rebellion, 1861-66. Montpelier, VT.: Press of the Watchman Publishing Co., 1892, pp. 106, 108, 456, 682, 749.
- Coffin, Howard, Full Duty: Vermonters in the Civil War. Woodstock, VT.: Countryman Press, 1995.
- -----. Nine Months to Gettysburg. The Vermonters Who Broke Pickett's Charge. Woodstock, VT.: Countryman Press, 1997.