Col. William H. Baldwin

Researched by Stephen E. Williams

Excepted with permission from
Forty For the Union: Civil War Generals Buried in Spring Grove Cemetery
by James Barnett
Cincinnati Civil War Round Table


WILLIAM HENRY BALDWIN was born in 1832 in New Sharon, Maine. After graduating from Union College and Harvard Law School, he came to Cincinnati to begin law practice. Soon afterward the Italian civil war broke out, and he left Cincinnati to join with Garibaldi in all of his campaigns from Naples to Capri. While overseas Baldwin learned of the eruption of the Civil War in America and hastened home. He became lieutenant-colonel of the 83rd Ohio, taking part in the Vicksburg campaign and the capture of Mobile, and was later promoted to brevet brigadier general. After the war he spent the remaining years of his life practicing law in Cincinnati, where he died June 11, 1898, at age sixty-six.

Baldwin was the commader of the 83rd OVVI when it was consolidated with the 48th OVVI.




Excerpted from:
"History of the Eighty-Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry: The Greyhound Regiment"
by T. B. Marshall, Sidney O. First Sergeant, Co. K.
Published by the Eighty Third Ohio Vollunteer Infantry Association
Wm. Davis, Secretary
No. 19 Fosdick Building, Cincinnati, O.
September 12, 1912.
pp. 28-29

WILLIAM H. BALDWIN. Lieutenant Colonel.
     Wm. H. Baldwin, the second in command of the Greyhounds, came of a long line of military men reaching back to Bunker Hill. They were prominent in many engagements during the Revolutionary period, and the record is one of which anyone might be proud.
     He was born in New Sharon, Maine. Was grad from Union College, N. Y., in 1855, and from the law department of Harvard in 1858. He was for a time a student of civil law in the Universities of Berlin and Munich, in Europe. He was with General Garabaldi in 1860 in most of his important movements from Naples to Capri.
On learning of the outbreak of our civil strife he returned to the United States and was commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to the Eighty-Third Ohio. He participated in the battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, commanded the regiment at the battle of Arkansas Post as shown by the official reports and where our colors were the first on the enemy's works.
     He was present during the siege of Vicksburg and was in command at the siege and capture of Jackson, Miss. He was in command of the brigade which brought up the rear of Banks' army on the retreat from Sabine Cross Roads. He also had various commands while the regiment lay encamped at Morganza Bend. He was in command during the siege and assault of Blakely, Ala., and made a good record there, receiving the surrender of General Cockrell as our infantry swarmed over the works.
     For his gallantry in this engagement he was brevetted as Brigadier General. He remained with the regiment until its final muster out on July 24th, 1865, at Galveston, Tex.
     After the close of the war, he returned to the practice of his profession which was a large and import'ant one in the U. S. Courts, especially in land cases.
     He was an active member of the Loyal Legion and was the first Commander of George H. Thomas Post of the G. A. R., Department of Ohio. In the National Organization, he was at one time Judge Advocate General, and a member of the Council of Administration.
     He married Isabella, daughter of Jonas Butterfield, an old citizen and merchant of Cincinnati.
He had four children, but at this writing there is no knowledge of them, further than that one of them died at an early age. The family resided in Norwood, a near suburb of Cincinnati, where he died on June 11.


Excerpted from

Used with the kind permission from Al Potts

GENERAL WILLIAM H. BALDWIN, attorney at law and United States Commissioner, No. 53 West Third street, Cincinnati, comes of Revolutionary stock. In the war for American independence, his great-grandfather, Col. Nahum Baldwin, who commanded a regiment of New Hampshire troops, and two of his brothers, Isaac and Jedathan, were in the army. Isaac was a captain of artillery, and was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill. Jedathan Baldwin was a colonel of engineers, superintended the construction of the defensive works at Bunker Hill, and was in charge of a portion of the works on the day of the battle. Col. Loami Baldwin was a cousin of Nahum, Isaac and Jedathan. He crossed the Delaware with Washington, fought in the battle of Trenton, and was in active service during the war. Gen. William H. Baldwin's grandfather, Nahum Baldwin, Jr., was also a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and though young to enter the army, made a proud record. Upon the admission of Maine as a State, he served as a member of the first constitutional convention. Jotham, the father of William H. Baldwin, was also a prominent citizen of that State, and filled positions of trust and honor, at the hands of the people. The maternal grandmother, Mary Pierce Swan. was the great-granddaughter of Daniel Pierce who came to America from England in the year 164-0, and purchased a large tract of land in Newbury, Mass., including the present site at Newburyport. She was a cousin of President Franklin Pierce.

The subject of this sketch is a native of New Sharon, Maine. He graduated from Union College, New York, in 1855, and from the Law Department of Harvard University in 1858. He was for a time a student f the civil law in the University of Berlin, and subsequently in the University of Munich. He was with Gen. Garibaldi's army in 1860, in most of its important movements from Naples to Capua, and his military genius was probably thus aroused, for he returned to the United States upon learning of our civil strife and was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Eighty-third Regiment, O. V. I. In 1862, tinder Sherman, he participated in the battle of Chickasaw Bluff, and January 11, 1863, he commanded his regiment in the assault and capture of Fort Hindman at Arkansas Post, and as shown by the official report of the battle "The colors of the Eighty-third Ohio were first planted on the enemy's battlements." He participated in the seige of Vicksburg under Grant, and commanded his regiment at the siege and capture of Jackson, Miss. On February 12, 1864, he was assigned to the command of the First Brigade, Third Division, Thirteenth Army Corps, relieving Gen. Macauley. During the Red River campaign under Gen. Banks be distinguished himself. Gen. Ransom, his corps commander, in his official report of the battle of Mansfield, bears testimony to his bravery arid soldierly bearing. He commanded the brigade which brought up the rear of Gen. Banks' army during the return march to Morganza on the Mississippi, and according to the official report of the division commander he " Showed much tact in holding the enemy in check and protecting the rear of the column from the frequent and persistent attacks of the enemy especially in crossing the streams and in passing defiles."

In July, 1864, by order of the War Department, he was appointed president of a board sitting at Port, Hudson for the examination of the officers of the different regiments f colored troops in the department of the Gulf, and to report who of them should be retained in the service, and who should be mustered out. Having satisfactorily performed the duty assigned him, he returned to Morganza, and was assigned to the command of an expeditionary force consisting of the Eighty-third Ohio, Thirty-fourth Iowa, Sixty-seventh Indiana, Second New York Cavalry, Twenty-first New York Battery, a detachment of the First Kansas Cavalry and the Eighty-seventh Illinois Mounted Infantry, to disperse a force of the enemy which was fortifying on the Atchafalaya. Arriving at Morgan's Ferry the enemy was found in force on the west bank of the river. On the night of October 5th, a strategical crossing of the river was effected three miles below, by swimming the horses and transporting the men in yawls, the enemy taken by surprise and thoroughly routed, with a loss of their supplies and many prisoners.

On October 17, 1864, he left Morganza in command of a second expedition to the Atchafalaya, composed of the troops forming the first expedition, and Col. Davis' regiment of Texas cavalry. He proceeded to Simmsport, which he reached early on the morning of October 19, by a road through the woods-. found the enemy in force, and four horses and several men were wounded in getting the battery into position. The west bank of the river was strongly fortified and held by the troops of Gen, Du Bray's command. The day was spent in getting troops, artillery and boats into position to force a crossing of the river, cutting roads, etc., until 2 o'clock when the enemy was reinforced by two regiments of infantry that marched into the works with colors flying, giving the enemy greatly the advantage in point of numbers. At 4 P.M. Col. Szimanski, Confederate Commissioner of Exchange, Lieut.-Col. Schaumby, inspector-general on the staff of Gen. E. Kirby Smith, accompanied by Maj. Johnson, came in under a flag of truce, having in charge 650 prisoners of war, which they desired to exchange for a like number of Confederates. A cessation of hostilities was agreed upon, until the rebel prisoners could be brought from New Orleans, and the yawls which had been brought to cross over the troops were used to ferry over the prisoners of war.

Gen. Baldwin was a member of the military commission, having in charge the trial of certain English sea captains who had been guilty of violating the law of blockades in the war. In the campaign against Mobile, Gen. Baldwin was with his command, and arrived before Fortress Blakely, April 2, 1865, This stronghold of the enemy included nine forty connected by earthworks, and was garrisoned by a Missouri division in command of Gen. Cockrell, and Thomas' division of Alabama troops, besides several companies of artillery, and was protected by formidable abattis and rifle pits, the approaches, moreover, being planted with torpedoes. On Sunday evening, April 9, the order was given to storm the fortress, and Gen. Baldwin, in command of the Eighty-third and Forty-eighth Ohio Regiments, at his own request, led the assault over the intervening space of 600 yards, and over the parapet of Fort No, 3, capturing the garrison, including Gen. Cockrell, then leaving a detachment in charge, he moved down to Fort No. 4, which he attacked anti captured, and when the main line of troops arrived, he had possession of two forts and their armaments, and 799 prisoners under guard. Though both his flag-staffs wore shot in two, and the flags riddled with halls, the loss in Baldwin's command was only seven killed and twenty-three wounded. On March 26, 1865 he was commissioned colonel by brevet, for faithful and meritorious services during the campaign against the city of Mobile and its defenses." He was commissioned brigadier-general by brevet " for gallant services in the charge on Fort Blakely, Alabama, April 9, 1865." He subsequently served at Selma and Mobile, Ala., and at Galveston, Texas, until mustered out in August, 1865. He then returned to the practice of his profession. Gen. Baldwin has a large and important practice in the United States Courts, especially in land cases. He is an active member of the Loyal Legion. He was the first commander of George H. Thomas Post, and has served the Grand Army of the Republic as Judge Advocate General, and as a member of the National Council of Administration. He married Isabella, daughter of the late Jonas Butterfield, an old citizen and merchant of Cincinnati. Four children blessed this union, of whom three survive: Frank, Mary and Edward. The family reside on Harvey avenue, Avondale.

[According to Bill Baldwin, "Gen. Wm. H. Baldwin's great-grandson, one of the General's children was Francis George Baldwin (see newspaper article below.). Francis had a sister whose name was Mary Baldwin Bean, married to Carlos Bean, a Navy Captain. Aunt Mary's permanent residence was Kilgore, TX where she wintered. She had a house for the summer in Highlands, NC and a spring and fall house on Siesta Key in Sarasota, FL, around the corner from her brother Francis George. She was a wonderful lady and I don't know about the passing of her husband who was gone when I knew her in the 1950s and 1960s. I don't think they had any children. So that's two out of the four children, to help put the missing pieces of the puzzle together."]

Spring Grove Cemetery markers of General William H. Baldwin
(Contributed by Dave Smith, Cincinnati Civil War Round Table)


Brevet Brigadier General Wm. Baldwin
(Contributed by Bill Baldwin, Mendham, NJ)


Story of how Bill Baldwin receieved his Great Grandfather's Sword.
(Contributed by Bill Baldwin, Mendham, NJ)


Gen. Baldwin's sword, Journal, and photograph.
(Contributed by Bill Baldwin, Mendem, NJ)



Excerpt from Baldwin's Journal
(Contributed by Bill Baldwin, Mendham, NJ)



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