Posted By : manager

Posted : February 28, 2022

By: Mike Thomas

There are several “First Casualty” claims from North and South. Each death raised passions while showing the dangers of military service other than peacetime conditions. A sampling of the different claims does exciting reading and provides various perspectives. Several of the men pictured below have markers noting the significance of their death. Union Claims
Private Daniel Hough, 1st U.S. Artillery: Killed at Fort Sumter during the planned 100-gun salute following the fort’s surrender to Confederate forces in Charleston. As he rammed a powder charge into a gun, sparks within the barrel caused it to ignite prematurely, and the resulting explosion killed him almost instantly. Claim: First casualty of the War.
Private Edward Galloway, 1st U.S. Artillery: Badly injured in the same explosion that killed Private Daniel Hough. Taken to a Charleston hospital, he lingered a week before death. Claim: The first man to be mortally wounded in the War.

Private Luther C. Ladd, 6th Massachusetts Volunteer Militia: Killed by Southern sympathizers, all civilians, in the Baltimore riot April 19, 1861. Ladd was the first of 4 Militia members to die that day. Eleven civilians died as well & many on each side were wounded—claim: First man to die in hostilities.

Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth, 11th New York Volunteer Infantry: Killed by hotel proprietor in Alexandria, VA after removing the Confederate flag from his hotel when U.S. troops invaded Virginia. Claim: First U.S. officer killed in the War.
Confederate Claims

Private Henry L. Wyatt, 1st North Carolina Infantry: Killed in Battle of Big Bethel June 10, 1861.

Claim: First man to die in battle.

Captain John Q. Marr, Warrenton Rifles, Virginia Infantry: Killed in a night encounter with Union cavalry scouts June 1, 1861, in Fairfax, VA. Claim: 1st Confederate soldier killed by a Union soldier in combat.

Chaplain Noble Leslie Devotie, C.S.A.: A Baptist minister, Devotie drowned after a misstep while boarding a steamer on February 12, 1861. Claim: First Alabama soldier to lose life in the War.

Private Robert L. Holmes, Carolina Light Infantry (Charleston Militia): Shot accidentally the night of January 7, 1861, at Castle Pinckney in Charleston by a sentinel raising his musket to challenge the approaching Holmes. Claim: The first casualty of the War on either side.

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