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Theophilus Francis Rodenbough
US Army officer Theophilus F Rodenbough.jpg
T. F. Rodenbough
Born (1838-11-05)November 5, 1838
Easton, Pennsylvania
Died December 19, 1912(1912-12-19) (aged 74)
Easton, Pennsylvania
Place of burial
Easton Cemetery
Easton, Pennsylvania
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Army
Union Army
Years of service 1861 - 1870
Rank Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Unit United States 2nd U.S. Cavalry Regiment
Commands held 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
42nd U.S. Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War
Awards Medal of Honor
Other work author

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.


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. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on May 14, 1861. 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. He was promoted to captain, U.S. Army, July 17, 1862. Rodenbough was captured at the Battle of Second Bull Run on August 31, 1862 and exchanged on September 20, 1862. 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.

Gettysburg Campaign

A monument dedicated to the regulars of the United States Army who fought at Gettysburg includes Rodenbough. 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.

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 Honor

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

Post Civil War

Rodenbough was mustered out of the volunteer force on October 31, 1865. 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. On July 28, 1866, Rodenbough was promoted to major, USA, and assigned to the 42nd U.S. Infantry Regiment. 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. Rodenbough was unassigned after March 15, 1869.


Rodenbough retired in 1870 as a colonel. 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 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)

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

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