Colonel William Sackett

FatherHon William Augustus Sackett (1811-1895)
MotherZayde Eliza Thorne (1812-1840)
Birth1838, New York StateG,1,2
Death1864, VirginiaG,1,3
MarriageAnna Sisselberger1
Colonel William Sackett (1838–1864)
Colonel William Sackett, son of Hon William Augustus Sackett and Zayde Eliza Thorne, was born in New York StateG in April 1838.1,2 He died aged 26 in VirginiaG on 11 June 1864.1,3 He married Anna Sisselberger.1
     William Sackett served in the American Civil War as a Major (1861), Lieutenant Colonel (1862), and Colonel (1863), in the 9th Regiment, New York Volunteer Cavalry. He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. He was appointed Brevet Brigadier General in 1864. He was mortally wounded on 11 June 1864 in the Battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia.4,3
     In 1850 William was living at Seneca FallsG in the household of his father William and stepmother Charlotte, and was recorded in the census as William Sackett, aged eleven and born in New York.5

3631. Colonel and Brevet Brig. General William Sackett, 1838–1864, of Seneca Falls and Albany, N., Y., son of (1452) Hon. William A. Sackett and Zade Thorn, was married to Anna Sisselberger. When the great civil war broke out he was practicing law at Albany, N. Y., having a short time previous been admitted to the bar. In December, 1861, he was commissioned Major of the 9th Regiment of New York Cavalry, and taking the field served with credit in several engagements in which that command participated. On June 27, 1862, his immediate superior, Lieutenant- Colonel Hyde, resigned and three days later Major Sackett was commissioned to fill the vacancy. On the 30th of the following May he was advanced to the Colonelcy of his regiment, with rank from March 15, 1863.
     It is stated in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" that the cavalry pickets commanded by Colonel Sackett fired the first shot at the battle of Gettysburg. He subsequently led his command, in a gallant manner, in numerous engagements, including the battle of Trevilians Station, fought June 10, 1864. There he received a mortal wound and died inside of the enemy's lines some three days later. The report that he had been severely wounded and was in the hands of the enemy soon reached his wife, who immediately determined to make an effort to reach and care for him, not knowing that he was already dead when the report reached her. The following correspondence, copied from Official Records published by the War Department, tells in most emphatic terms of her devotion.
City Point, Va., July 7, 1864.
General R. E. Lee, Commanding Confederate Army,
     Mrs. Sackett, the wife of Colonel William Sackett, who was wounded on the 11th of June, near Trevilians Station, Va., is here in deep distress and feeling great anxiety to learn the fate of her husband. Colonel Sackett was left at a house some two miles and a half from the station, in charge of Surgeon Ray, U. S. Volunteers. If you can let me know the fate and present whereabouts of Colonel Sackett you will alleviate the anxiety of his wife and family. I will add that it always has and always will afford me pleasure to relieve the minds of persons in the south, having friends in the north, either by forwarding open letters to them or by ascertaining where they are, their condition, etc. Mrs. Sackett is very desirous that I should ask you for permission to visit her husband if he is still alive. She would not expect to go through Richmond, but would start from Alexandria, by private conveyance, if authorized to do so.

Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, July 10, 1864.
Lieut-General U. S. Grant, Commanding U. S. Armies,
     General:—Your letters with reference to Mrs. Wadsworth and Mrs. Sackett are received. I have directed inquiries to be made for the effects of the late General Wadsworth, and if they can be found will take great pleasure in restoring them to his widow. I have also taken measures to ascertain the condition and whereabouts of Colonel Sackett, and the information you ask shall be conveyed to you as soon as it can be ascertained. I regret, however, that it is not in my power to permit Mrs. Sackett to visit her husband at this time. The reasons that induce me to withhold my consent are applicable to the route she proposes to take, as indicated by you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE, General.

A short time previous to his death, Colonel Sackett was awarded by Congress the honorary rank of Brevet Brigadier General of Volunteers.

Military History Prior to 1865
The 9th New York Cavalry contained two companies from Cattaraugus County. It was mustered into the service October 1, 1861 and, until mustered out in July, 1865, lost 619 officers and men out of a total enlistment of a little less than two thousand. It participated in many battles and skirmishes and lost its colonel, William Sackett, who was killed at Trevilian Station, Virginia, on June 11, 1864.

—William J Doty, editor, The Historic Annals of Southwestern New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York (1940), v 2, p 629.

 Notes & Citations

  1. Charles Weygant, The Sacketts of America, "3631. William Sackett, b. in Apr. 1838, d. in 1864; m. Anna Sisselberger."
  2. Census.
  3. Register of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861–1865, United States Civil War (Ancestry image), "Sackett, Wm, Col, 9 NY Cav, d. 10 Jun 1864, wounds received at Trevillion Station, remarks "Vol Army Reg"."
  4. Website American Civil War database (National Park Service) (, "Sackett, William, Union, 9th Regiment, New York Cavalry."
  5. 1850 United States Federal Census, Roll M432_597, p. 309
    Seneca Falls, Seneca, New York, 28 Oct 1850
    Sackett, Wm A., 38, m, lawyer, b. NY
    Sackett, C. G. B, 28, f, b. MA
    Sackett, F. L., 40, f, b. NY
    Sackett, Zayde, 13, f, b. NY
    Sackett, William, 11, m, b. NY
    Sackett, Zilla, 2, f, b. NY
    Sackett, Frederick, 1/12, m, b. NY.
Appears inNotable Sacketts
Sacketts in the Military
Sackett line7th great-grandson of Thomas Sackett the elder of St Peter in Thanet
ChartsLine 3a (American)
Last Edited13 Jul 2021

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