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Thomas Orville Seaver
Born (1833-12-23)December 23, 1833
Died July 11, 1912(1912-07-11) (aged 78)
Place of birth Cavendish, Vermont
Place of death Woodstock, Vermont
Place of burial River Street Cemetery Windsor County, Vermont
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1865
Rank Colonel
Commands held 3rd Vermont Infantry

American Civil War

Awards Medal of Honor

Thomas Orville Seaver (December 23, 1833 – July 11, 1912) rose to the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War and received the Medal of Honor, America's highest military decoration, for his actions at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. After the war Seaver was admitted to the Vermont bar and practiced law, serving as a judge for many years, until his death.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Seaver was born in Cavendish, Vermont but after his first year of school his parents moved to Pomfret seeking better educational opportunities for their son. He ultimately attended Green Mountain Academy in South Woodstock, graduating in 1855. He matriculated at Tufts University later that year, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity, but left Tufts in 1856 to attend Norwich University, a Vermont military academy. He left Norwich without a degree in 1858, completing his studies at Union College and receiving a B.A. in 1859. On June 30, 1861, he wed Nancy Taylor Johnson Spaulding.

On the outbreak of the Civil War, Seaver mustered on July 16, 1861 in Newbury, where he was given command of the 3rd Vermont Infantry as a captain, serving as commander until July 1864. He was raised to major on August 13, 1861; to lieutenant colonel on September 17, 1862; and to full colonel on January 13, 1863. He served in the Battles at Antietam and Gettysburg, among many others.

After the war, Seaver settled in Cavendish once more and began work as an attorney, serving as a public defender. He was made a judge of the probate court in 1886. He received the Medal of Honor on April 8, 1892 for valor in the Battle of Spotsylvania, and died in Woodstock in 1912 from a heart attack and was buried at River Street Cemetery in Windsor County, Vermont.[1] He was survived by his wife Nancy and two children, a girl and a boy (two daughters had predeceased him).

Medal of Honor citation[edit | edit source]

Medal of honor old.jpg

Rank and Organization:

Colonel, 3d Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va., May 10, 1864. Entered service at: Pomfret, Vt. Born: December 23, 1833, Cavendish, Vt. Date of issue: April 8, 1892.


At the head of 3 regiments and under a most galling fire attacked and occupied the enemy's works.[2][3]

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