Sunday, October 6, 2013

Died From Wounds

Babcock is standing center

Union Lieutenant Colonel Willoughby Babcock died October 6th 1864 from wounds received during the Battle of Winchester 17 day earlier.

Willoughby Babcock was born in Scott, New York January 12th 1832 the son of Samuel Babcock.  He graduated in 1857 from New York Central College, and then studied at the Albany Law School.  He had a law practice in Owego, New York.

When the Civil War started Babcock took a commission as First Lieutenant in the three month regiment of the 3rd New York Infantry April 18th 1861.  The 3rd saw action at the Battle of Bethel on June 11th 1861.  He moved to the 64th New York Infantry in November and then with a promotion Babcock became the Major of the 75th New York Infantry.  On December 6th 1861 the 75th was stationed at Santa Rosa Island, Florida, and while there they took part in the bombing of Forts McRae and Barrancas.  In the summer of 1862 Babcock was made Provost Marshal and the Military Governor of Pensacola, Florida.  In September 1862 the 75th along with Babcock moved to New Orleans and the Department of the Gulf, where they were involved in several engagements.  On December 7th 1862 Babcock was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and took over command of the Regiment.  He led them at the Battle of Fort Bisland, and in the assault on Port Hudson.  Babcock was wounded in the thigh at Port Hudson, and when he returned to the Regiment he served as Provost Judge of New Orleans.  Because of a letter Babcock wrote which was published in a New York New Paper, he was brought up on a court martial August 22nd 1863, and did not return to service until January 28th 1864.  Babcock returned as Chief of Staff for Union General A L Lee in the Department of the Gulf.

On August 3rd 1864 Babcock rejoined the 75th at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.  He took over command of the Regiment again.  While at the head of the 320 men of the 75th New York during the Third Battle of Winchester he was shot in the leg and it shattered the bone on September 19th 1864.  He was found on the field by Confederate Major Andrew L Pitzer, who did his best to make Babcock comfortable and offered to get Babcock’s things sent to his wife.  Shortly after the Union retook the field and Babcock was moved to a field hospital, where his leg was amputated. A couple of weeks after his wounding on October 6th 1864 Babcock passed on at the Union General Hospital in Winchester, Virginia.  He is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery in Homer, New York.