Theophilus Francis Rodenbough


Theophilus Francis Rodenbough (November 5, 1838 – December 19, 1912) was born in Easton, Pennsylvania and was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War. He received America's highest military decoration the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Trevilian Station. After his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1870, he wrote several books about military history.

Theophilus Francis Rodenbough
US Army officer Theophilus F Rodenbough.jpg
Born(1838-11-05)November 5, 1838
Easton, Pennsylvania, US
DiedDecember 19, 1912(1912-12-19) (aged 74)
Easton, Pennsylvania, US
Place of burial
Easton Cemetery
Easton, Pennsylvania
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Years of service1861 - 1870
RankUnion Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
UnitUnited States 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment
Commands held19th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
42nd U.S. Infantry Regiment
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
AwardsMedal of Honor
Other workauthor
SignatureSignature of Theophilus Francis Rodenbough (1838–1912).png


On March 27, 1861, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Rodenbough was appointed a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons.[1] He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on May 14, 1861.[1] On August 3, 1861, Rodenbough was transferred to the 2d U.S. Cavalry Regiment as the 2nd US Dragoons were renamed the 2nd US Cavalry.[1] He was promoted to captain, U.S. Army, July 17, 1862.[1] Rodenbough was captured at the Battle of Second Bull Run on August 31, 1862 and exchanged on September 20, 1862.[1] He served in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, and as a Regular Army captain commanded the 2nd U.S. Cavalry during the Gettysburg Campaign.[1]

Gettysburg CampaignEdit

A monument dedicated to the regulars of the United States Army who fought at Gettysburg includes Rodenbough.[2] The Gettysburg Campaign was a series of engagements before and after the Battle of Gettysburg. To better understand Rodenbough's role within the military organization, the following brief is provided. For more details, see Gettysburg Union order of battle.[3]

Division Brigade Regiments and Others

First Division:
     BG John Buford (2,748)

Reserve Brigade:

   BG Wesley Merritt

6th Pennsylvania Cavalry: Maj James H. Haseltine
1st U.S. Cavalry: Capt Richard S. C. Lord
2nd U.S. Cavalry: Capt Theophilus F. Rodenbough
5th U.S. Cavalry: Capt Julius W. Mason
6th U.S. Cavalry: Maj Samuel H. Starr, Lt Louis H. Carpenter, Lt Nicholas Nolan, Capt Ira W. Claflin

Medal of HonorEdit

Rodenbough received the Medal of Honor for his efforts in the June 11, 1864 Battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia, where he was wounded.[4] Rodebough lost his right arm in the Battle of Opequon, or Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864.[1] He briefly served as colonel of the 18th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry Regiment between April 29, 1865 and October 31, 1865.[1]

Post Civil WarEdit

Rodenbough was mustered out of the volunteer force on October 31, 1865.[1] On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Rodenbough for appointment to the brevet grade of brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866.[5] On July 28, 1866, Rodenbough was promoted to major, USA, and assigned to the 42nd U.S. Infantry Regiment.[1] On July 18, 1868, President Johnson nominated Rodenbough for appointment to the brevet grade of brigadier general, U.S. Army (regular army), to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on July 18, 1868.[6] Rodenbough was unassigned after March 15, 1869.[1]


Rodenbough retired in 1870 as a colonel.[1] Afterwards, he was occupied as an author and as an employee of the Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C., and in New York State. He was a companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

He was the author of:

  • From Everglade to Cañon with the Second Dragoons (1875)
  • Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute (1885)
  • Uncle Sam's Medal of Honor (1886)
  • Sabre and Bayonet (1897)

Together with William L. Haskin he was the editor of The Army of the United States (1896)[7]

On April 23, 1904, Rodenbough was appointed brigadier general, USA, on the retired list.[1] Theophilus Francis Rodenbough is interred at Easton Cemetery in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.

Medal of Honor citationEdit


Rank and Organization:

Captain, 2d U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Trevlhan Station, Va., June 11, 1864. Entered service at: Pennsylvania. Born: November 5, 1838, Easton, Pa. Date of issue: September 21, 1893.


Handled the regiment with great skill and valor, was severely wounded.[8][9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. pp. 458-459
  2. ^ (February 22, 2009). "United States Regulars Monument". Monuments at and near Gettysburg, Adams County, Pennsylvania. – The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Eicher, David J. (2001). The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84944-5.
  4. ^ "Theophilus Francis Rodenbough, Medal of Honor recipient". Home of Heroes.
  5. ^ Eicher, 2001, p. 756
  6. ^ Eicher, 2001, p. 736
  7. ^ Rodenbough, Theophilus Francis; Haskin, William L., eds. (1896). The Army of the United States [Historical Sketches of Staff and Line with Portraits of Generals-in-Chief]. New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co. OCLC 1635675. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  8. ^ ""Civil War Medal of Honor citations" (S-Z): Rodenbough, Theophilus F." Retrieved November 9, 2007.
  9. ^ "Medal of Honor website (M-Z): Rodenbough, Theophilus F." United States Army Center of Military History. Retrieved November 9, 2007.

External linksEdit