Edward Payson Chapin

Edward Payson Chapin was born August 16, 1831, in Waterloo, Seneca County, New York, the youngest of six children of a Presbyterian minister. Securing his early education in the village school, at seventeen he began to read law in Waterloo. He completed his legal education in Buffalo and Ballston Spa, was admitted to the bar soon after his twenty-first year, and commenced practice in Buffalo. Prior to 1861 Chapin had taken an interest in the local militia and in September of that year he was mustered into service as captain of a company (which became part of the 44th New York) recruited in Erie County and named "Ellsworth's Avengers," after Colonel Elmer Ellsworth of the New York Fire Zouaves. Chapin was promoted to major and to lieutenant colonel and meantime distinguished himself at Yorktown during the Peninsular campaign, in which he commanded the regiment as a major and was seriously wounded. On July 4 he was commissioned colonel of the 116th New York (part of the troops guarding Baltimore) until he was sent in November to Ship Island, Mississippi, as a part of N. P. Banks's, expedition. In March, 1863, the regiment took part in the operations against Port Hudson which enabled David G. Farragut's fleet to run the batteries. On April 30 Chapin commanded a brigade consisting of the 21st Maine, the 48th and 49th Massachusetts, and the 116th New York, in Christopher C. Augur's division of the XIX Corps. On May 27 Banks ordered an assault on the Confederate works, which in his own words resulted in "severe losses" with no corresponding gain. Among the casualties was Chapin, killed in the ditch below the parapet. Four months later he was posthumously promoted to brigadier general of volunteers to rank from the day of his death. General Chapin's remains were sent north for burial in Maple Grove Cemetery, Waterloo.

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Reference:  Generals in Blue.  Lives of the Union Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Louisiana State University Press.  Baton Rouge.