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Eliakim Sherrill
Eliakim Sherrill.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 10th district
In office
March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1849
Preceded by Samuel Gordon
Succeeded by Herman D. Gould
Member of the New York Senate
from the 10th district
In office
Preceded by George T. Pierce
Succeeded by George S. Nichols
Personal details
Born (1813-02-16)February 16, 1813
Greenville, New York
Died July 4, 1863(1863-07-04) (aged 50)
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Resting place Washington Street Cemetery
42°51′44″N 76°59′27″W / 42.86222°N 76.99083°W / 42.86222; -76.99083
Political party Republican
Other political
Military service
Allegiance Union
Branch/service Union Army
Years of service 1861-1863
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Commands 126th New York Volunteer Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War
 • Battle of Harpers Ferry (WIA)
 • Battle of Gettysburg (DOW)

Eliakim Sherrill (February 16, 1813 – July 4, 1863) was an antebellum United States Congressman from the state of New York and a brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was mortally wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg defending against Pickett's Charge.

Early life

Sherrill was born in Greenville, New York, where he attended the public schools. He moved to Herkimer County in 1832. He married Emily Eldridge, a daughter of Judge Eldridge of Madison County. The couple moved to Shandaken in 1838, where Sherrill owned a tannery. He entered local politics, holding several political offices. He served as a major in the State Militia.

He was elected as a Whig to the 30th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1847, to March 3, 1849. He was a member of the New York State Senate (10th D.) in 1854 and 1855. Three years later, he moved to Brooklyn, then in 1860 to Geneva, where he had a farm.

Civil War

During the Civil War, he organized the 126th New York Infantry in August 1862 and became its first colonel. His regiment was among the troops defending Harpers Ferry against Joseph B. Kershaw's Confederate brigade of Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws's division during the Maryland Campaign. He was severely wounded with a gunshot through his lower jaw in fighting on Maryland Heights during the Battle of Harpers Ferry. Sherrill was captured and later paroled. The wound never healed, but he temporarily rejoined his regiment at Union Mills, Virginia, in October 1862. After a furlough for further recuperation, he returned for duty on January 27, 1863.

He commanded the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, II Corps, after Col. George L. Willard's death on July 2, 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg. Sherrill, in his first full day commanding the brigade, was positioned near Ziegler's Grove on Cemetery Ridge, when he was mortally wounded on July 3 by a musket shot in the bowels. Carried off the field by men of the 39th New York Infantry, he was taken to the XI Corps field hospital, where he died about 8:00 a.m. the next day. His body was sent by the regimental surgeon to Baltimore for embalming. Lt. Col. James M. Bull, 126th New York Infantry, who filed the brigade's report, giving a detailed account of the artillery barrage on July 3 but not much on the repulse of Pickett's Charge, places Sherrill's death at 4 p.m.

He was buried in the Washington Street Cemetery in Geneva, New York. Nearly 10,000 people attended his funeral.

His granddaughter, Carrie Babcock Sherman, was Second Lady of the United States, 1909-1912.

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