Friday, March 9, 2012

Rudely Awaken

Union Brigadier General Edwin Henry Stoughton was captured while sleeping March 9th 1863 at Fairfax Court House by Confederate Colonel John S Mosby.

Edwin Henry Stoughton was born June 23rd 1838 in Chester, Windham, Vermont the son of Henry Evander and Laura (Clark) Stoughton.  He received an appointment to the United States Military Academy and graduated with the class of 1859 placing 17 out of a class of 22.  Stoughton served with the United States 4th Infantry until 1859, when he was promoted to Second Lieutenant and transferred to the United States 6th Infantry.

Stoughton resigned his commission in March 1861 with start of the Civil War.  In September 1861 he was appointed to the 4th Vermont Infantry as their Colonel.  Stoughton led the 4th through the Peninsula Campaign.  They saw action at the Battles of Williamsburg and Savage Station.  He was appointed to Brigadier General in November 1862; the youngest General in the Union Army at that time, and was placed in command of the 2nd Vermont Brigade, replacing Colonel Asa P Blunt.

Stoughton held a party for his visiting mother and sister on March 8th 1863 at the home of Antonia Ford.  Ford was a Confederate spy.  When Stoughton left the party he retired to his headquarters located in the town of Fairfax Court House.  Confederate Colonel John S Mosby captured Stoughton at 2am on March 9th 1863, while he slept.  The story is that Stoughton was woken rudely and shouted out, "Do you know who I am?"  To this Mosby said, "Do you know Mosby, general?" "Yes! Have you got the rascal?" "No but he has got you!"  Stoughton spent two months in Libby Prison before being exchanged.  His appointment was not confirmed by the Congress and Stoughton resigned from the Union Army in May 1863.

Following the war Stoughton worked as an attorney in New York City.  He died December 25th 1868 in New York City.  Stoughton is buried in the Immanuel Cemetery in Rockingham, Windham, Vermont.

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