Brigadier General William Dwight

On May 27th, Brigadier General William Dwight was a brigade commander on the right wing of the Union lines, under the command of General Weitzel.  He had as part of his command two Negro regiments, the 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guards, which he ordered to attack a heavily fortified section at the extreme left of the Confederate lines.  The Guards were turned back after suffering extremely heavy casualties.  After the assault of May 27th, Dwight was given command of the wounded General Sherman's Second Division on the left flank, which was reduced to the strength of a brigade.  On June 14, his forces launched an attack on the powerful Confederate position known as The Citadel, but the defenses were not breached.

William Dwight was born in Springfield, Mass. on July 14 1831.  He was a student at a preparatory military school at West Point, 1846-49, and a cadet at the United States Military Academy, 1849-53, but resigned before graduation to engage in manufacturing in Boston.  He was commissioned captain in the 13th U. S. Infantry, May 14, 1861, and in June of that year was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 70th N. Y. Volunteers, of which Daniel E. Sickles was Colonel.  At the Battle of Williamsburg, where his regiment lost half its men, he was twice wounded, left for dead on the field, and taken prisoner.  He was exchanged, and for gallantry was promoted Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Nov. 29, 1862.  He was appointed a member of the commission to receive the surrender of Confederate forces on July 9, 1863.  After May, 1864, he was Chief of Staff to General Banks in the Red River expedition, and in July of that year was assigned to the command of the 1st of the 19th Army Corps, with which he rendered important service under Sheridan in the campaign of the Shenandoah Valley, notably at Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek.  He resigned on Jan. 15, 1866, and engaged in business in Cincinnati, Ohio.  General Dwight died in Boston, Mass. on April 21, 1888.


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