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RIC students who served in the Civil War


Sgt. John Hull, a Rhode Island Normal School alum killed at
the Battle of Jackson during the Civil War.
The following listing of Rhode Island College students who served in the Civil War was compiled from Thomas W. Bicknell’s "A History of the Rhode Island Normal School." Founded in 1854 as a teacher preparatory institute, the Rhode Island Normal School was the first public center of higher education in Rhode Island. The school was later named Rhode Island College of Education, which was shortened to Rhode Island College in 1960.

In his 1911 book, Bicknell gave a listing of the first students to matriculate and graduate from the Normal School. I have cross-referenced each male student’s name who attended the school between 1854-1865 – the first students who attended and matriculated – against the 1893 Revised Register of Rhode Island Volunteers, Rhode Island’s official roster of Civil War soldiers. The name, residence, rank, unit and fate of the student are also given.

This is the first time a roster of RIC students who served in the Civil War has been compiled. Indeed, of Rhode Island’s colleges in existence in the period, only Brown University had compiled such a register, in the "1868 Brown University in the Civil War: A Memorial."

Many of the men from the Normal School listed below came from small country villages, giving up their positions as teachers to serve in the war. Some never came back.

Name: Alfred B. Arnold
Residence: Coventry
Rank: Private
Unit: Company B, Second Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Deserted July 27, 1861

Name: Henry T. Brayman
Residence: Smithfield
Rank: Private
Unit: Company B, Eleventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Mustered out July 13, 1863

Name: Frederick L. Burden
Residence: Scituate
Rank: Private
Unit: Battery E, First Rhode Island Light Artillery
Fate: Discharged for disability March 6, 1862

Name: John Butterworth
Residence: Warren
Rank: Private
Unit: Battery F, First Rhode Island Light Artillery
Fate: Wounded in action December 16, 1862 at Whitehall, North Carolina, resulting in amputation of arm. Sent to Portsmouth Grove Hospital where honorably discharged on September 17, 1863.

Name: Clinton O. Evans
Residence: Glocester
Rank: Private
Unit: Company F, Twelfth Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Mustered out July 29, 1863

Name: Allen Gardiner
Residence: Jamestown
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: Battery E, First Rhode Island Light Artillery
Fate: Discharged July 7, 1864 to accept commission as second lieutenant Company A, Twenty-Sixth United States Colored Troops. Mustered out as first lieutenant August 28, 1865.

Name: Earl C. Harris
Residence: Providence
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Unit: Company H, First Rhode Island Detached Militia
Fate: Mustered out August 1, 1861

Name: John K. Hull
Residence: South Kingstown
Rank: First Sergeant
Unit: Company G, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Killed in action July 13, 1863, at Jackson, Mississippi

Name: Charles H. Kellen
Residence: Providence
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Unit: Company F, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Mortally wounded in action December 13, 1862. Died of wounds December 27, 1862, at Washington, D.C.

Name: Charles Knowles
Residence: South Kingstown
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: Company G, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Killed in action December 13, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Virginia

Name: George B. Inman
Residence: Burrillville
Rank: First Lieutenant
Unit: Company B, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Resigned commission January 7, 1863

Name: Amos A. Lillibridge
Residence: Hopkinton
Rank: Sergeant
Unit: Company A, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Killed in action May 18, 1864, at Spotsylvania, Virginia

Name: Andrew B. Morse
Residence: Richmond
Rank: Farrier
Unit: Troop C, First Rhode Island Cavalry
Fate: Mustered out August 3, 1865

Name: Abial W. Sherman
Residence: East Providence
Rank: Corporal
Unit: Company B, Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Killed in action September 17, 1862, at Antietam, Maryland

Name: John B. Sweet, Jr.
Residence: Bristol
Rank: Private
Unit: Company H, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Wounded December 13, 1862 at Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mortally wounded May 12, 1864 at Spotsylvania, Virginia. Died of wounds July 7, 1864, at Washington, D.C.

Name: Anthony C. Taft
Residence: Woonsocket
Rank: Private
Unit: Battery D, First Rhode Island Light Artillery
Fate: Mustered out July 17, 1865

Name: Pardon E. Tillinghast
Residence: Providence
Rank: Quartermaster Sergeant
Unit: 12th R.I. Volunteers
Fate: Mustered out July 25, 1863

Name: William J. Tilley
Residence: Bristol
Rank: Drummer
Unit: Company H, Tenth Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Mustered out August 28, 1862

Name: Charles G. Vincent
Residence: Hopkinton
Rank: Private
Unit: Company A, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Deserted October 1, 1862

Name: Hassam O. Whiting
Residence: Smithfield
Rank: Private
Unit: Company K, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Transferred to Veterans Reserve Corps March 16, 1864. Mustered out June 30, 1865

Name: John T. Wilcox
Residence: Warwick
Rank: Corporal
Unit: Company F, Seventh Rhode Island Volunteers
Fate: Severely wounded June 3, 1864, at Bethesda Church. Discharged May 18, 1865, at Portsmouth Grove Hospital.