South Mountain by Rick Reeve

South Mountain by Rick Reeve
South Mountain by Rick Reeve depicting the wounding of General Garland

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Captain William Horsfall, Killed in Action, September 14, 1862

This is a photo of Captain William Horsfall. He commanded Company E of the 18th New York Infantry Regiment in Brigadier General John Newton's brigade. Captain Horsefall was mustered into service as a 1st Lieutenant of Company E in Schenectady, New York on May 16, 1861. He would be promoted to Captain in December of 1861. During the fighting at Crampton's Gap, the 18th New York advanced against the Confederate positions during the final climactic assault. Lt. Colonel George R. Myer's describes Captain Horsefalls final moments:

 On rising the hill to the road, which ran along its side, we received a terrific volley from the enemy. It was here that I met my heaviest loss, the fire of the enemy being well directed and fatal. At this point, the lamented Captain William Horsfall was killed while gallantly leading his men to the charge...

He was 46. Captain Horsfall's body would be returned to Schenectady where he was buried in T-31 of Vale Cemetery.  The people of Schenectady gave Captain Horsfall a memorial. From a newspaper describing the monument:

—A beautiful Italian monument, to be placed over the remains of the late Captain William Horsefall, who fell at the battle of South Mountain, Maryland, has just been completed by our fellow townsman, William Manson, will be forwarded to Shenectady [sic] to adorn the Cemetery at that place.
The monument is made of the finest Italian marble, and is beautifully and artistically cut and engraved. The front represents a projecting shield, with three stars upon it, backed by a sword and spear, and entwined together with a wreath of evergreens.
Beneath this in projecting letters, is the following:

Captain Horsfall's grave
"Captain William Horsefall,
18th Regiment, N. Y. S. Volunteers.
Born April 7th, 1816;
Died September 14th 1862.
On the base is the following:--
"He died in the defence of his county."

On the opposite side, engraved upon the stone, is the following:--
"He fell cheering his men in the gallant and successful charge made by Gen. Slocum in the Battle of South Mountain, near Burkettsville, Frederick Co., Maryland, Sept. 14th, l862.”
The monument is surrounded with a fatigue cap, hewn from the stone, on the foot of which is a shield, with initials, in old English letters, N. Y.
It is certainly a monument choice and beautiful in design and reflects great credit upon the maker as a work of art.


1. Newspaper clipping describing monument, New York State Military Museum
2. Roster, 18th New York Infantry, New York Military Museum
3. Photo, Captain Horsfall, New York Military Museum
4. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of of the records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Series 1, Volume 19 (part 1), pg. 398.

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