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Edward E. Cross
April 22, 1832(1832-04-22) – July 3, 1863 (aged 31)
Col Edward E Cross.JPG
Place of birth Lancaster, New Hampshire
Place of death Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Place of burial Lancaster, New Hampshire
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army (USA)
Years of service 1860–63
Rank colonel
Commands held 5th New Hampshire Infantry
Battles/wars American Civil War

Edward Ephraim Cross (April 22, 1832 – July 3, 1863) was a newspaperman and an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.



Cross was born in Lancaster, New Hampshire. When he was fifteen years old, he began writing as a printer for a local newspaper, the Coos Democrat. He later moved from New Hampshire to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he worked as a printer for the Cincinnati Times. He demonstrated writing skills and became a reporter for the newspaper, serving for a while as the paper's Washington correspondent. In 1857, he moved to the West and eventually settled in the Arizona Territory.

Cross invested in a series of mines and then established the territory's first newspaper, the Weekly Arizonian. He also served at times in the United States Army as a scout during occasional expeditions against the Apache. In 1860, he crossed the border into Mexico to command a Sonoran army garrison supporting the insurgency of Benito Juárez.

Civil War Service

At the outset of the Civil War, he was commissioned as colonel of the 5th New Hampshire Infantry. He led his regiment in the first division II Corps, distinguishing himself at the Battle of Antietam. Cross also led his regiment at the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Chancellorsville. At Chancellorsville he briefly led an ad hoc fifth brigade in first division II Corps.

During the Battle of Gettysburg, he led a brigade in first division, II Corps. On July 2, 1863, the division was sent to the left flank to help stabilize it after the Confederate's had begun attacking the salient formed by III Corps. Cross's brigade was formed on the left of the division's battle line as it entered the Wheatfield. During the fighting, Cross was mortally wounded while at the left of his line near the Rose Woods. He died the next day at a field hospital.

Col H. Boyd McKean of the 81st Pennsylvania Regiment succeeded to command of the brigade.


Cross was an impulsive and colorful officer. He is reported to have struck non-commissioned officers with the flat of his sword when angry.[1]

Cross was notable for always wearing a red bandanna on his head rather than the traditional officer's hat. This was Cross's way of making it easier for his men to locate him quickly on the battlefield. However, on July 2, 1863 General Winfield S. Hancock noticed that his bandanna was black rather than red. Col. Cross indicated that he had foreseen his own death this day and that black was more appropriate.

His body was shipped home to Lancaster, New Hampshire, for burial in the town's cemetery.

See also


  1. ^ Gottfried, p. 114.
  • Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
  • Gottfried, Barry M., Brigades of Gettysburg, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2002. ISBN 0-306-81175-8

External links

Further reading

  • Child, William, A History of the Fifth Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers, in the Civil War, 1861-1865. Bristol, NH: R.W. Musgrove, Printer, 1893.
  • Cross, Edward E., Stand Firm and Fire Low: The Civil War Writings of Colonel Edward E. Cross. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2003.
  • Pride, Mike and Mark Travis, My Brave Boys: To War with Colonel Cross and the Fighting Fifth. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2001.
  • Waite, Otis F. R., New Hampshire in the Great Rebellion. Claremont, NH: Tracy, Chase & company, 1870.


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