Week of March 17 - March 23
1:12 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

This Week in the Civil War - 531

On Saturday, March 21, 1863, Union General Edwin Voss Sumner died of a heart attack while visiting his daughter’s home in Syracuse, New York.  A career officer and the oldest corps commander on either side during the Civil War, Sumner was known as "Bull Head" because legend alleged that a musket ball once bounced off his head. 

Sumner led the II Corps of the Army of the Potomac through the Peninsular Campaign, the Seven Days Battles, at Antietam, and at Fredericksburg.  Yet when Joseph Hooker was appointed to command the Union army, Sumner was relieved at his own request, apparently disillusioned with the quarreling in the army. He was reassigned to a new command in Missouri effective in the spring but unfortunately did not live to assume his new command.

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