Friday, January 7, 2011

He Ran Stores And Led Men

Union Brigadier General Samuel Emerson Opdycke was born January 7th 1830.

Samuel Emerson Opdycke was born on a farm in Hubbard, Ohio January 7th 1830. He came from a family with a long military history. Opdycke attended local schools, and then operated various businesses in Ohio. He went to California during the Gold Rush and opened a mercantile store.

Shortly after the First Battle of Bull Run, Opdycke enlisted in the Union army as a First Lieutenant in the 41st Ohio Infantry. He saw action with the 41st at the Battle of Shiloh. Opdycke resigned and went back to Ohio in September 1862 to recruit the 125th Ohio Infantry. He was there as a Colonel when the 125th saw action at Horseshoe Ridge during the Battle of Chickamauga. Opdycke and the 125th were also present at Missionary Ridge, the Battle of Chattanooga and Battle of Resaca where he was badly wounded in the arm. Opdycke had recovered enough to be at the head of his men during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and at the Battle of Franklin. He received a promotion to Brigadier General July 26th 1865. Opdycke resigned from the army in 1866.

Following the war Opdycke moved to New York City. He opened a dry good store, was active with veterans affairs, and wrote about the war. While he was cleaning a pistol, Opdycke accidentally shot himself in the stomach. He died April 25th 1884 and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Warren, Ohio.

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