Theophilus Francis Rodenbough

Birth: 1838


Theophilus Francis Rodenbough (November 5, 1838 – December 19, 1912) was born in Easton, Pennsylvania and was a Union Army officer during the American Civil War. He received America's highest military decoration the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Trevilian Station. After his retirement from the U.S. Army in 1870, he wrote several books about military history.

On March 27, 1861, shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War, Rodenbough was appointed a second lieutenant in the 2nd U.S. Dragoons. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant on May 14, 1861. On August 3, 1861, Rodenbough was transferred to the 2d U.S. Cavalry Regiment as the 2nd US Dragoons were renamed the 2nd US Cavalry. He was promoted to captain, U.S. Army, July 17, 1862. Rodenbough was captured at the Battle of Second Bull Run on August 31, 1862 and exchanged on September 20, 1862. He served in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, and as a Regular Army captain commanded the 2nd U.S. Cavalry during the Gettysburg Campaign.

Rodenbough received the Medal of Honor for his efforts in the June 11, 1864 Battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia, where he was wounded. Rodebough lost his right arm in the Battle of Opequon, or Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia, on September 19, 1864. He briefly served as colonel of the 18th Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry Regiment between April 29, 1865 and October 31, 1865.

Rodenbough was mustered out of the volunteer force on October 31, 1865. On January 13, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Rodenbough for appointment to the brevet grade of brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on March 12, 1866. On July 28, 1866, Rodenbough was promoted to major, USA, and assigned to the 42nd U.S. Infantry Regiment. On July 18, 1868, President Johnson nominated Rodenbough for appointment to the brevet grade of brigadier general, U.S. Army (regular army), to rank from March 13, 1865, and the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment on July 18, 1868. Rodenbough was unassigned after March 15, 1869.

Rodenbough retired in 1870 as a colonel. Afterwards, he was occupied as an author and as an employee of the Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C., and in New York State. He was the author of: From Everglade to Cañon with the Second Dragoons (1875), Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute (1885), Uncle Sam's Medal of Honor (1886), Sabre and Bayonet (1897). Together with William L. Haskin he was the editor of The Army of the United States (1896)

On April 23, 1904, Rodenbough was appointed brigadier general, USA, on the retired list. Theophilus Francis Rodenbough is interred at Easton Cemetery in Easton, Northampton County, Pennsylvania.


Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher, Civil War High Commands. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. pp. 458-459

Books & Publications

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