Evan M. Woodward, Co. G, 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves

Evan Morrison Woodward

Evan Morrison Woodward, of Puritan and Huguenot origin, was the son of James S. and Rebecca Anna (De-la-Montaigne) Woodward, and was born in Philadelphia, March 11th, 1828. He received a liberal education at a private school. Influenced by the love of adventure, he sailed around Cape Horn to California, and spent several years in roaming through that State, Mexico, and South America, returning eastward across the continent. He studied law under John R. Vogdes of Philadelphia, and was admitted to the bar. Turning his attention to literature soon afterwards, he wrote the History of the Citizen Soldiery of Philadelphia from 1704 to 1845. He was connected with the Sunday Mercury, and became assistant editor. Upon the breaking out of the Rebellion, he organized a company and was commissioned Captain, on the 19th of April, 1861. The Second Reserve, to which he was attached, moved to the front without being mustered into the United States service. On being paraded for the purpose, some dissatisfaction having arisen, two-thirds of the men refused to take the oath. His own company and four others having been disbanded, to induce his men to remain true to their flag, he exchanged the sword for the musket, promising to stay with them to the last. Subsequently he was promoted to Sergeant-Major, and served as such throughout all the hard-fought battles in which the Reserves participated on the Peninsula, in Pope”s, and the Maryland campaigns. At Antietam, the Second was left with but one commissioned officer, the command of the left wing devolving upon Woodward, and the desperate resistance which it made to an assault of the enemy gained for him the rank of Adjutant. In the memorable charge of the Reserves at Fredericksburg, the Second turned a rifle-pit, and, swinging round upon the heights, cut off the retreat of its occupants. The Seventh Reserve being in front of the pit, and not knowing the position of the Second, fired into it continuous volleys, which the Second in the heat of the battle did not discover and poured in a terrific fire at short range in return. The enemy in the meantime remained passive, neither giving token of surrender nor attempting defence.

Finally Adjutant Woodward, discovering the situation, strove to stop the fire, and sheathing his sword, with cap in hand, advancing between the two lines, asked if they wished to “fight or surrender.” “We will surrender if you will allow us,” was the reply. The entire body with their flag was thereupon sent over to the Seventh. In this encounter Woodward had thirteen bullet holes through his clothes, leaving some wounds, but none serious. For his gallantry he was brevetted Major. He served with his regiment at Gettysburg and in other battles. After the war he settled among the green hills of his native State. While in the army he wrote the Picket Letters, which attracted considerable attention, and afterwards Our Campaigns, and the History of the Third Reserve and the One Hundred and Ninety-eighth regiments.1


Woodward, E. Morrison. s. James S. & Rebecca Anna (de la Montaignie) Woodward. b. 11 March 1828 in Philadelphia. m. Cornelia Laura Canfield, 27 December 1866. 2 ch. George Canfield (b. 15 Dec. 1867, d. 4 Nov. 1887). Reginald Herber (b. 12 Aug. 1869). He has written a number of books on local and on on military history. He is the author of “The History of the Citizen Soldiers of Philadelphia 1723-1859,” and “Our Campaigns.” “History of Bordentown, N.J.” “Old Families of Burlington County.” “The History of Burlington and Mercer Counties.” “Bonaparte”s Park and The Murats.” “History of the Second Regiment, Penn”a Reserves.” “History of the Third Regiment, Penn”a Reserves.” “history of the Fourth Regiment, Penn”a Reserves.” “History of the 198th Penn”a Volunteers.” He lives [Lived] at Ellisdale, N.J., he is a lawyer.2

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Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.

  1. MARTIAL DEEDS OF PENNSYLVANIA BY SAMUEL P. BATES; PHILADELPHIA: T. H. DAVIS & CO., 1876. Part II, Chapter XI, Pages 799-800.
  2. A History of Thomas Canfield and of Matthew Camfield: With a Genealogy of their Descendants in New Jersey. By Frederick Alexander Canfield