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Hiram Berdan
Major General, United States Army
New York State Flag
Appointed Colonel, 1st United States Sharpshooters, November 30, 1861 shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, he was breveted Brigadier General, United States Volunteers, for services at Chancellorsville, and breveted Major General, U.S. Volunteers, for services rendered at the Battle of Gettysburg. He commanded the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, III Corps and 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps. He resigned from the service on January 2, 1864.

A mechanical engineer in New York City when the war commenced, he had been the top rifle shot in the country for fifteen years prior to the Civil War. He is identified with two regiments of U.S. sharpshooters, and with the "breech loader question." Although crusty, old Winfield Scott was "very favorably impressed" with this aggressive man, "an associate of Berdan called him 'most unscrupulous' and 'totally unfit for a command.'" Major Dyer of the Springfield Armory considered him "thoroughly unscrupulous and unreliable."

He had invented a repeating rifle and a patented musket ball before the war. Later he developed a twin-screw submarine gunboat, a torpedo boat for evading torpedo nets, a long-distance range finder and a distance fuse for shrapnel. 

He was born on September 6, 1824 and died on March 31, 1893. He was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.

BERDAN, HIRAM
U.S. VOLS.
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
DATE OF DEATH: 03/31/1893
DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/03/1893
BURIED AT: SECTION 2  SITE 979
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY



Hiram Berdan
Photo courtesy of Don Harvey


Hiram Birdan PHOTO

Hiram Berdan PHOTO

Hiram Berdan PHOTO

Hiram Berdan PHOTO

Hiram Berdan PHOTO

Photos Courtesy of the National Archives



Hiram Berdan Gravesite PHOTO
Photo (c) Michael Robert Patterson, September 1999

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Page Updated: 11 December 1999  Updated: 26 November 2000 Updated: 3 March 2002  Updated: 1 September 2002 Updated: 6 September 2004 Updated: 28 March 2007