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Major General Daniel E. Sickles Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

MAJOR GENERAL DANIEL E. SICKLES
Born: October 20, 1819 in New York City, New York
Died: May 3, 1914 in New York City, New York
Biography | show moreshow less
Daniel E. Sickles (1819-1914), born in New York City, had gained notoriety before the Civil War when he shot Philip Barton Key, the son of Francis Scott Key, because he believed Key and his wife were lovers. (Sickles was tried for murder but acquitted, the first successful "temporary insanity" defense in U.S. history.) During the American Civil War, he rose from colonel to major general in command of a brigade at Gettysburg, Sickles, thinking that his position was vulnerable, moved his 3rd Corps from Cemetery Ridge to the battlefield's Peach Orchard without orders. His action drew criticism, but he was later credited with staving off disaster by blocking a surprise attack led by General James Longstreet against the Union Army's left flank at Little Round Top. Sickles lost a leg in the fighting, but won the respect of General Winfield Scott Hancock, in command at Little Round Top. Sickles' brigade, however, had the fifth most killed and wounded of all brigades in the war. He represented New York in the U.S. Congress (1857-1861, 1893-1895) and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1897.

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