Colonel, United States Army
John Wainwright, U.S.V.
Colonel Ninety-Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers
Colonel John Wainwright was born at Syracuse, New York, July 13, 1839. His father was Samuel Force Wainwright, his mother Maria Humphry. He is descended from the Wainwrights and Forces, so long settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey. His name and stock has long been known as having its representatives in the army and navy of the United States, and has a history as patriots, soldiers, and sailors in our struggle for independence and in later wars.
At the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861 his traditional soldier-blood made him a Private in Company G, Second Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry, for three months, enlisting April 18. He was honorably discharged July 26, 1861. With this regiment he took part with Patterson's column in the Shenandoah Valley.
He re-enlisted as a Private in Company F, Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry, September 23, at West Chester, Pennsylvania, and began a military career which has but few parallels in the records of the war of the Rebellion, in that he came home at the close of the war the Colonel commanding the same regiment which at the commencement of the Rebellion received him as a Private in the ranks of one of its companies, having in the mean while been promoted, step by step, through every grade of intermediate rank. He never sought this promotion, and as evidence of the appreciation in which his services were held by his superior officers, every step of his military advancement came to him unsolicited. His biography is a complete history of the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, in which he served continuously only seventeen days short of four years. He first found himself in command of his regiment on August 25, 1864, while yet a first lieutenant, and continued in command, with but a short interval, until his muster out of service over one year later, August 28, 1865. He was then in command of the post at Weldon, North Carolina, and of the section of country thereabouts.
He was appointed First Sergeant October 3, 1861; Second Lieutenant January 10, 1862; First Lieutenant March 9, 1863; Captain November 1, 1864; Captain and Major by brevet and "Medal of Honor," for gallant and meritorious services at the storming of Fort Fisher, North Carolina, January 15, 1865; Lieutenant Colonel Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, January 15, 1865, and Colonel Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, June 1, 1865. He was honorably mentioned for gallantry in action, October 7, 1864, at Chapin's Farm, Virginia, general orders, head-quarters Department of Virginia and North Carolina, October 11, 1864.
He was twice wounded - James Island, June 12, 1862; Fort Fisher, North Carolina, January 15, 1865.
He participated in the, expedition to Port Royal, South Carolina, December, 1861 siege of Fort Pulaski, Georgia; capture of Fort Clinch, Fernandina, and Jacksonville, Florida; occupation of Edisto Island and James Island, South Carolina; battles on James Island, South Carolina, June 10 and 16, 1862; reoccupation of James Island, South Carolina; capture of Morris Island, South Carolina; siege of Forts Wagner, Gregg, Sumter, Moultrie, and Johnson, and capture of Forts Wagner and Gregg, in 1863; capture of Camp Cooper, Woodstock Mills, and King's Ferry, Florida; capture of Bermuda Hundred and City Point, Virginia; battles of Swift Creek, Proctor's Creek, Fort Darling, Drury Bluff, Chester Station, Green Plains, Cold Harbor, Petersburg Heights, Cemetery Hill, explosion of mine, siege of Petersburg and Richmond, Strawberry Plains, Weir Bottom Church, Charles City Road, Darbytown Road, in 1864; Fort Fisher, Sugarloaf Hill, capture of Fort Anderson, capture of Wilmington, North Carolina, occupation of Raleigh, N. C.; surrender of Johnston, in 1865. He served in the Tenth, Eighteenth, and Twenty-fourth Army Corps in the Army of the South, Army of the James, Army of the Potomac, and Army of the Ohio, in the States of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
Colonel Wainwright has been a citizen of Wilmington, Delaware, since the war; has always taken an active interest in military affairs; is a member of the District of Columbia Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and past department commander, G. A. R., Department of Delaware, a position to which he was elected in his department without an opposing candidate. He has also occupied responsible positions on the staffs of Past Commanders-in-Chief Louis Wagner and George Merrill.
He was married to Miss Emma M. Edwards, of Coatesville, Pa., April 18, 1864, and their three children are Blanche J., G. Maude, and John Drayton Wainwright.
Source: Officers of the Volunteer Army and
Navy who served in the Civil War, published by L.R. Hamersly & Co.,
1893, 419 pgs.
Served as a Private, Company G, 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry, April 18, 1861-July 26, 1861. Private, Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry, August 1861. First Sergeant, October 3, 1861, Second Lieutenant, January 10, 1862, First Lieuteant, March 9, 1863, Captain, November 1, 1864, Lieutenant Colonel, January 15, 1865, Colonel, June 1, 1865.
Served in the Army of the South, Army of Virginia and North Carolina, Army of Potomac and Army of Ohio. He was brevetted Captain and Major, and commended "for gallantry in action before Richmond, Virginia, October 7, 1864." He received the Medal of Honor for "gallant and meritorious services at the storming of Fort Fisher, North Carolina, January 15, 1865."
He was a general claims attorney, Wilmington, Delaware, 1889. Republican. Uniterian. Member, City Council, Wilmington, Delaware, 1893-95. Commander, Deptartment of Delaware, Grand Army of the Republic, 1882-83. Member, Loyal Legion, Medal of Honor Legion of the United States, SAR. Address: 3 West 7th St, Wilmington, Delaware.
Medal of Honor. Rank-Organization: First Lieutenant, Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place-Date: Ft Fisher, North Carolina, 15 January 1865.
He died on April 15, 1915 and was buried in Section 2, Grave 1061, Arlington National Cemetery.
His wife, Emma M. Edwards Wainwright, the mother of John Drayton Wainwright, (1845-1922) is buried with him.
WAINWRIGHT, EMMA M W/O JOHN
WAINWRIGHT, MAUDE D/O JOHN
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Fisher, North Carolina, 15 January 1865. Entered service at: West Chester, Pennsylvania. Born: 13 July 1839, Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. Date of issue: 24 June 1890.
Gallant and meritorious conduct, where, as first lieutenant, he commanded the regiment.
Photo by Michael Robert Patterson
Photo Courtesy of Russell C. Jacobs, August 2006
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