Friday, October 19, 2012

Mortally Wouned In A Surprise Attack

Union General Daniel Davidson Bidwell died from wounds received while leading his brigade October 19th 1864 at the Battle of Cedar Creek.

Daniel Davidson Bidwell was born in Buffalo, New York August 12th 1819.  He received his education in local schools, and became a member of the Buffalo Militia.

When the Civil War started Bidwell became of private in the 65th New York Infantry, moving up in rank to Captain.  He helped organize the 74th New York Infantry, and then became the Colonel of the 49th New York Infantry in August 1861.  Bidwell and his regiment saw action during the Peninsula Campaign.  They were also in the Second Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Salem Church and the Battle of Gettysburg.  Bidwell moved to lead a brigade in the Battles of Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor.  He was promoted to Brigadier General August 11th 1864.  Bidwell’s Brigade was part of the Sixth Corps and took part in Union Major General Philip H Sheridan’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign.  He was involved in the Third Battle of Winchester and the Battle of Fisher’s Hill.

On October 19th 1864 at the Battle of Cedar Creek the Confederates made a surprise attack on the Union troops.  By 7 am only the Sixth Corps was left contesting the Confederate advance.  Bidwell’s Brigade held the left flank.  It was while holding this line that he was mortally wounded.  His body was taken home and he is buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York.

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