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Woodward, John Hills


Age: 52, credited to Westford, VT
Unit(s): 1st VT CAV
Service: comn Chaplain, 1st VT CAV, 11/16/61 (11/19/61), resgd 7/17/63; Congregationalist [College: UC 34)

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 03/07/1809, Unknown
Death: 12/06/1886

Burial: Village Cemetery, Milton, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone photographer: Kathy Valloch
Findagrave Memorial #: 16643849


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 12/2/1884
Portrait?: VHS Collections
College?: UC 34
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None


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Copyright notice


Village Cemetery, Milton, VT

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.


The Late Rev. J. H. Woodward, D. D.

In the death of Rev. John H. Woodward of Milton, the Congregational ministry of Vermont loses one of its oldest and most faithful members, the community a true man, and devoted Christian, and his county and State a well-known and valued citizen and his country a true patriot. Mr. Woodward born in Charlotte, Vt., March 7, 1809. He fitted for college at Georgia and other academies and at Bangor, Me., and graduated from Union college in 1834. He made a profession of religion at the age of 16 years, joining the Congregational church in Georgia, of which he was a member for sixty years. Deciding on the ministry as his profession, he studied theology under Dr. Worthington Smith of St. Albans and Rev. E. H. Dorman, a half-brother, at Swanton, and entered upon the ministry at Cambridge, Vt., in May 1836. In June of that year he was united in marriage with Miss Emily Morehouse of Shelburn, a most estimable lady. Mr. Woodward remained in Cambridge one year, and then went to Westford, succeeding Rev. Simeon Parmalee, in the pulpit of the Congregational church, which he filled for twenty-six years. At the outbreak of the civil war, his earnest patriotism did not permit him to be content with aiding the cause of the country by voice and vote merely, and upon the organization of the First Vermont Cavalry regiment in November, 1861, he offered his services as its chaplain. He was at that time a State senator from this county, and left his seat in the Senate, to join the regiment. He was a good and faithful chaplain, who honored his sacred profession, and was second to none in care of the health and comfort as well as spiritual welfare of the command. But a man of his fiery spirit and personal courage could not be kept back, in camp or hospital, when the regiment was under fire. If there was fighting on hand the chaplain was apt to be among the boys at the front. He rode with those who charged at Mount Jackson, Va. He captured two prisoners at Port Republic and by his presence and efforts saved a portion of the regiment from being cut down by the fire of their friends, who took them for a hostile force. No expedition was too trying or dangerous for him to accompany, and he became widely known in the army as "the fighting captain" of the Vermont cavalry. With enfeebled health and broken in spirit by the death of his gallant son, Capt. John W. Woodward of the same regiment, who fell in battle in the Gettysburg campaign, Mr. Woodward resigned the chaplaincy of the cavalry July 17, 1863, returned to Vermont and resumed the duties of the pastorate. He preached in Irasburgh for eight years, and was afterward for 17 years pastor of the Congregational church at Milton; returned thither after labors in other fields, and only laid down his charge under the burden of years and growing infirmities some two years ago.

To Mr. Woodward's high character as a man and faithful service of his Master due tribute will doubtless be paid in a memorial discourse, which we understand to be in preparation. We have space here only to say that he was earnest and active in every good cause. He was a firm friend of temperance, a strong anti-slavery man, though never fanatical, a worker in the cause of education, and able and willing to do his share and often more than his share of public service as a citizen. He represented Westford in the Legislatures of 1856 and 57, and Chittenden county in the Senates of 1860 and 61. His health had been infirm for several years, and he came near failing under an attack of pneumonia last spring. On Friday last he was stricken by a return of that dreaded disease under which he sank rapidly, and passed away on Monday last. Dr. Woodward leaves one son, George, who was also in the army in the Second Vermont Regiment, and who now resides at Los Angeles, Cal., and three daughters Mrs. A. J. Downing, who resides in Washington, Mrs. H. A. Killam of St. Paul and Mrs. D. F. Quinn of Milton. He had made his home with the latter since the death of his wife in August 1865.


The funeral of Mr. Woodward was held on Thursday afternoon. At 130 o'clock there was a brief service at the late home of the deceased, conducted by the pastor, Rev. J. L. Sewall. The service at the church was at 2 o'clock. The church was suitably and tastefully draped in mourning and was filled to its utmost capacity, many being present from the towns of Westford and Georgia. Appropriate music was rendered by the choir of the Congregational church, assisted by Mrs. E. Barnum and Mr J. E. Wheelock. The prayer of invocation was offered by Rev. J. E. Brown of the Milton Methodist Episcopal church. Rev. J. L. Sewall made some appropriate remarks, and read the selections from the Scripture, Rev. Austin Hazen of Richmond offered prayer. Rev. J. H. Babbitt of Georgia also assisted in the services. The other visiting clergymen were Rev. W. D. Williams of Essex and Rev. J. G. Lorimer of Georgia Plains.

Among the floral tributes was a beautiful "gates ajar" from the ladies of the Milton church and society. Many members of the First Vermont cavalry showed their esteem for their old chaplain by their presence, among the number being, Gen. William Wells, Capt. H. O. Wheeler, Lieut. W. L. Greenleaf and Comrade Leach of this city, Capt. George P. Conger and Sergeant Warren Gibbs of St. Albans, and others, who joined the G. A. R. Post in Milton, of which Mr. Woodward was a member, in escorting his remains to the church and to the grave. Mr. E. T. Holbrook had general charge of the arrangements.

The exercises were interesting and impressive throughout and the large number present all of whom were mourners, bore testimony to the respect and affection in which the good citizen, the brave soldier, the able preacher, the faithful pastor and the good man was held by those who knew him.

Source: Burlington Free Press, December 10, 1886.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.