Samuel Sherer Elder
Born in Pennsylvania, Elder enlisted in the US Army in 1853, and was assigned to Battery C, 2nd US Artillery. During his five-year enlistment, he worked his way up through the ranks from Private to First Sergeant. His enlistment ended in 1858, and he did not re-enlist.
With the outbreak of the American Civil War, he received a direct commission on March 23, 1861 and was assigned to the 1st U.S. Artillery. Promoted to first lieutenant in the 4th US Artillery, May 14, 1861, Elder commanded Battery E, 4th U.S. Artillery, and served in the Eastern Theater with the Army of the Potomac. Elder was cited for gallantry and awarded a brevet promotion to captain for actions at Antietam, September 17, 1862. By 1863, his battery was assigned to the U.S. Horse Artillery Brigade, where he served for most of the remainder of the war. He earned his permanent promotion to captain on August 1, 1863. Detached briefly in February 1864, Elder was cited for gallantry at the Battle of Olustee, and was awarded the brevet promotion to major. Returning to the Horse Artillery, he was again cited for actions at Drewry’s Bluff, May 5, 1864, and was brevetted lieutenant colonel.
He remained with the army after the war, and was promoted to major in the 2nd U.S. Artillery, June 30, 1882. He died April 6, 1885.
- American Memory: Selected Civil War Photographs. Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. Internet: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/cwphome.html
- Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, From its Organization, September 29, 1789 to March 2, 1903. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1903.
- US War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1894.