antietam

Confederate, Louisiana

John Carroll, 6th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry

An Irish immigrant who fled the Irish Potato Famine, John Carroll settled in New Orleans, where he began to construct a new life. He established strong cultural ties with the Irish American community while working as a laborer for eleven years. In 1860, Carroll became a dance professor, which connected him with the middle and upper classes of New Orleanians, whose daughters he instructed. He enlisted at Camp Moore in order to protect this fragile new life that he built for himself in Louisiana and to prove that he was an American. Carroll fought in every major engagement in the eastern theatre of the war through the Battle of Gettysburg, before tragically losing his life in the second day of the fighting.

Delaware, Union

Thomas Seymour, 1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry

Only nineteen at the time of his enlistment, Thomas Seymour seemed ill-prepared for military life. He was used to hard labor and factory discipline, but no prior experiences would have adequately prepared him for his military service. Hailing from a family with both Northern and Southern roots and originally residing in Philadelphia and Baltimore, for whatever reason, he cast his lot with the state of Delaware when he enlisted in the army. At the age of twenty, Thomas received his “baptism of fire” at Antietam as a private. By the time the 1st Delaware fought in the Battle of Gettysburg two years later, Thomas and his fellow soldiers were veterans of combat. Thomas proudly carried the regimental flag into Gettysburg as a color sergeant; a role which marked him as a prime target on the battlefield. He gallantly upheld this duty until he met a brutal end during the Pickett-Pettigrew Assault, when a cannonball hit him directly in the chest as he guarded the 1st Delaware regimental flag.

Ohio, Union

Elijah Hayden, 8th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

A family man at his core, Elijah Hayden deeply loved his wife and two children, but when war broke out in April 1861, he signed up for a three-month term. As soon as his term ended, he immediately re-enlisted for another three years, knowing that his country needed him just as desperately, if not more, than his family did. Despite numerous struggles with illness, homesickness, personal loss, and the stresses of combat, Elijah remained committed to the Union cause and his comrades, all the while maintaining an active correspondence with his family at home. Rising through the ranks, he earned the deep admiration of his subordinates whom he inspired through his personal demonstrations of bravery, loyalty, and persistence—qualities he exemplified through his actions during his small but valiant regiment’s stand against Pickett’s Charge, which ultimately took his life.