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Theophilus Francis Rodenbough
File:Theophilus F Rodenbough.jpg
T. F. Rodenbough
Born (1838-11-05)November 5, 1838
Died December 19, 1912(1912-12-19) (aged 74)
Place of birth Easton, Pennsylvania
Place of death Easton, Pennsylvania
Place of burial Easton Cemetery
Easton, Pennsylvania
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch U.S. Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1870
Rank Union army brig gen rank insignia.jpg Brevet Brigadier General
Commands held 2nd U.S. Cavalry

American Civil War

Awards Medal of Honor
Other work author

Theophilus Francis Rodenbough (November 5, 1838 – December 19, 1912) was born in Easton, Pennsylvania and was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War. He received America's highest military decoration the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Gettysburg Campaign at the Battle of Trevilian Station. After his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1870, he wrote several books about military history.

Biography[edit | edit source]

On March 27, 1861, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Rodenbough was appointed a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons.[1] He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on May 14, 1861.[1] On August 3, 1861, Rodenbough was transferred to the 2d U.S. Cavalry Regiment as the 2nd US Dragoons were renamed the 2nd US Cavalry.[1] He was promoted to captain, U.S. Army, July 17, 1862.[1] Rodenbough was captured at the Battle of Second Bull Run on August 31, 1862 and exchanged on September 20, 1862.[1] He served in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, and as a Regular Army captain commanded the 2nd U.S. Cavalry during the Gettysburg Campaign.[1]

Gettysburg Campaign[edit | edit source]

A monument dedicated to the regulars of the United States Army who fought at Gettysburg includes Rodenbough.[2] The Gettysburg Campaign was a series of engagements before and after the Battle of Gettysburg. To better understand Rodenbough's role within the military organization, the following brief is provided. For more details, see Gettysburg Union order of battle.[3]

Division Brigade Regiments and Others

First Division:
     BG John Buford (2,748)

Reserve Brigade:

   BG Wesley Merritt

6th Pennsylvania Cavalry: Maj James H. Haseltine
1st US: Capt Richard S. C. Lord
2nd US: Capt Theophilus F. Rodenbough
5th US: Capt Julius W. Mason
6th US: Maj Samuel H. Starr, Lt Louis H. Carpenter, Lt Nicholas Nolan, Capt Ira W. Claflin

Medal of Honor[edit | edit source]

Rodenbough received the Medal of Honor for his efforts in the June 11, 1864 Battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia, where he was wounded.[4] Rodebough lost his right arm in the Battle of Opequon, or Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864.[1] He briefly served as colonel of the 18th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry Regiment between April 29, 1865 and October 31, 1865.[1]

Post Civil War[edit | edit source]

Rodenbough was mustered out of the volunteer force on October 31, 1865.[1] On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Rodenbough for appointment to the brevet grade of brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866.[5] On July 28, 1866, Rodenbough was promoted to major, USA, and assigned to the 42nd U.S. Infantry Regiment.[1] On July 18, 1868, President Johnson nominated Rodenbough for appointment to the brevet grade of brigadier general, U.S. Army (regular army), to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on July 18, 1868.[6] Rodenbough was unassigned after March 15, 1869.[1]

Retirement[edit | edit source]

Rodenbough retired in 1870 as a colonel.[1] Afterwards, he was occupied as an author and as an employee of the Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C., and in New York State.

He was the author of:

  • From Everglade to Cañon with the Second Dragoons (1875)
  • Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute (1885)
  • Uncle Sam's Medal of Honor (1886)
  • Sabre and Bayonet (1897)

Together with William L. Haskin he was the editor of The Army of the United States (1896)[7]

On April 23, 1904, Rodenbough was appointed brigadier general, USA, on the retired list.[1] Theophilus Francis Rodenbough is interred at Easton Cemetery in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.[8]

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Medal of honor old.jpg

Rank and Organization:

Captain, 2d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Trevlhan Station, Va., June 11, 1864. Entered service at: Pennsylvania. Born: November 5, 1838, Easton, Pa. Date of issue: September 21, 1893.


Handled the regiment with great skill and valor, was severely wounded.[9][10]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. pp. 458-459
  2. HMdb.org (February 22, 2009). "United States Regulars Monument". Monuments at and near Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania. HMdb.org – The Historical Marker Database. http://www.hmdb.org/Marker.asp?Marker=16366. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Eicher, David J. (2001). The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84944-5. 
  4. "Theophilus Francis Rodenbough, Medal of Honor recipient". Home of Heroes. http://www.homeofheroes.com/photos/1_civilwar/rodenbough_theophilus_bw2.html. 
  5. Eicher, 2001, p. 756
  6. Eicher, 2001, p. 736
  7. Rodenbough, Theophilus Francis; Haskin, William L., eds (1896). The Army of the United States [Historical Sketches of Staff and Line with Portraits of Generals-in-Chief]. New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co.. OCLC 1635675. http://www.history.army.mil/books/R&H/R&H-FM.htm. Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  8. "Theophilus Francis Rodenbough". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5848653. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 
  9. ""Civil War Medal of Honor citations" (S-Z): Rodenbough, Theophilus F.". AmericanCivilWar.com. http://americancivilwar.com/medal_of_honor7.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  10. "Medal of Honor website (M-Z): Rodenbough, Theophilus F.". United States Army Center of Military History. http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/civwarmz.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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