Edmund Kirby (army officer)

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For the British architect, see Edmund Kirby.

Edmund Kirby (March 11, 1840 – May 28, 1863) was a U.S. Army officer who was killed during the Battle of Chancellorsville.

He was born in Brownville, New York to Major Edmund Kirby (1794-1849), an army paymaster, and Eliza Brown. He was a second cousin[1] of Confederate general Edmund Kirby Smith, and his mother was a daughter of former U.S. Army Commander Jacob Brown. He graduated from West Point in the class of May 1861 (which also included Adelbert Ames and Emory Upton), shortly after the outbreak of the war. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1st U.S. Light Artillery, Battery I, he was promoted to first lieutenant just eight days later. He served in the First Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Ball's Bluff, the Peninsula Campaign and the Battle of Antietam as a battery commander of the battery.

On May 3, 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, he took command of the 5th Maine Battery. He supervised the evacuation of the artillery guns, but was heavily wounded by case-shot and was carried off the battlefield by private John F. Chase, who would receive the Medal of Honor thanks to Kirby's recommendation. He was transported to a hospital in Washington, D.C., where his injured leg was amputated. Despite receiving medical attention, he contracted an infection.

Kirby was nominated to brigadier general of volunteers by president Abraham Lincoln on May 28, but was not confirmed in that grade by the U.S. Senate because he died later that day at the age of 23.[1] He was buried at Brownville Cemetery.[1] He was survived by his mother and sisters.


  1. ^ a b c Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 603


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