A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.


"I think I Die in Victory"

On 17 September 1862, along a rambling creek in western Maryland, Americans fought the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of combat in United States history: there were almost 23,000 casualties before nightfall when mutual exhaustion ended the fighting. Of the long list of killed and wounded, it was the death of Col. Wilder Dwight, the 29 year-old commander of the 2nd Mass. Infantry who seemed bound for greater things, that most shocked Massachusetts.

Wilder Dwight

Wilder Dwight
Carte de visite by John Adams Whipple, 1862 Lt. Col. Wilder Dwight of the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment died on 19 September 1862 of wounds received at the Battle of Antietam.
Letter from Wilder Dwight to Elizabeth A. Dwight, 17 September 1862
Wilder Dwight wrote this letter to his mother Elizabeth A. Dwight while he lay mortally wounded on the Antietam battlefield.
Account of Rupert Sadler (copy), 24 September 1862
Rupert Sadler recounts coming to the aid of his injured commander, Wilder Dwight, during the Battle of Antietam.
Telegram from William Dwight, Jr. to William Dwight, 19 September 1862
A telegram from Col. William Dwight, Jr. to his family informed them of the death of his younger brother, Lt. Col. Wilder Dwight.
William Dwight, Jr.
Carte de visite This carte de visite depicts William Dwight, Jr., a colonel in the Union army and brother of Wilder Dwight.