About Richard Napoleon Batchelder
Richard Napoleon Batchelder (July 27, 1832 – January 4, 1901) was a United States Army Officer and the 18th Quartermaster General of the United States Army. Brigadier General Batchelder was awarded the Medal Of Honor in 1891.
Richard N. Batchelder was born to Nathan and Peace Batchelder in Lake Village, New Hampshire on July 27, 1832. His father was a state representative, and his mother was the daughter of a prominent pastor. Richard attended the county school system of Manchester. During early adulthood he endeavored in many ventures, one of which was business.
At the start of the civil war he quit private enterprise and signed up for the U.S Army in 1861. Upon joining, he was commissioned as an officer, and took duty as Regimental Quartermaster for the 1st New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry. During one of his missions in 1864, his unit was bombarded with enemy attacks, and because of his leadership, the unit was able to successfully accomplish the mission without any loss of supplies. This feat would later earn him the Medal of Honor, and he was immediately promoted to Lieutenant Colonel with the title of Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac. In less than a year he was promoted to Brigadier General. Following the war he was transferred to the Regular Army, and took the title of captain in 1865. He then served at various commands across the country under the quartermaster branch for 15 years before he was promoted to Brigadier General. With this promotion he took the title of 18th Quartermaster General of the United States Army. In 1890, as Quartermaster General of the Army he was also in charge of the creation of the emblem used to identify the Quartermaster Branch.
Medal of Honor Citation
"The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to
LIEUTENANT COLONEL & CHIEF QUARTERMASTER RICHARD NAPOLEON BATCHELDER UNITED STATES ARMY
For service as set forth in the following CITATION:
"Being ordered to move his trains by a continuous day-and-night march, and without the usual military escort, armed his teamsters and personally commanded them, successfully fighting against heavy odds and bringing his trains through without the loss of a wagon."
Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Entered the Civil War as 1st Lieutenant and Regimental Quartermaster for the 1st New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry. His skills as quartermaster brought him to the attention to his superiors, and he was promoted up to Lieutenant Colonel and named the Chief Quartermaster for the Army of the Potomac's II Corps.
During the Fall 1863 Mine Run Campaign, supply wagons under his command were attacked by Confederate troops. Over the period of two days October 13 to 15, 1863) he led a running battle between Catlett and Fairfax Stations, Virginia that ultimately resulted driving off the Rebels and the preservation of the supplies. His bravery and leadership during this action would win him the CMOH 32 years later.
He eventually would be promoted to Colonel and Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac. He was brevetted Brigadier General, US Volunteers on March 13, 1865 for "faithful and meritorious services during the war". On April 9, 1865 he was brevetted Brigadier General, US Regular Army for "efficiency in the discharge of his duties as Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Potomac". However, his Regular Army brevet was not commissioned, and wasn't confirmed by the US Senate until March 3, 1869, nearly 4 years after it was first issued. After the end of the conflict he remained in the Regular Army Quartermasters Corps, eventually rising to Brigadier General and Quartermaster General before retiring in 1896.
His Medal of Honor citation reads "Being ordered to move his trains by a continuous day and night march, and without the usual military escort, armed his teamsters and personally commanded them, successfully fighting against heavy odds and bringing his trains through without the loss of a wagon". His Medal was issued on March 20, 1895. (bio by: Russ Dodge)