Civil War Veterans Buried In Washington State - John Canfield

John H Canfield

Unit History

  • 21st New York Infantry C & I

See full unit history

John Canfield
Full Unit History

Organized: Spring, 1861
Mustered In:
5/20/1861 Elmira, NY
Mustered Out:  5/18/1863 Buffalo, NY

Regimental History


The 21st New York was a two year infantry unit. Its period of service was within the eastern theater of the American Civil War (ACW).

Initially a thirty day unit, known as the 74th New York Militia, members of the regiment were recruited from within the City of Buffalo, NY. Those enlistments having ended, after being designated the 21st, the organization left the state on 6/18/1861 for Washington City. First quartered at the Union house, it moved to Kalorama Height before, on 7/14, being ordered into Virginia.

In 1862, after many marches, countermarches and skirmishes with the enemy, the 21st fought at 2nd Manassas/Bull Run (8/28 – 30/1862) and Chantilly (9/1/1862). It then trekked into Maryland where it fought at South Mountain (9/14/1862) and Antietam/Sharpsburg (9/16 – 18/1862). At the latter place the regiment lost seventy-one (71) members. It ended the year before Fredericksburg, VA (12/11 – 15/1862).

On 1/9/1863 the 21st was assigned to a provost (military police) brigade. It performed in that capacity until its period of enlistment ended.


Officers killed or mortally wounded: 2; Officers died of disease, accidents, etc.: 2; Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded: 74*; Enlisted men died of disease, accidents, etc.   40. ‘

*The 21st was one of a scant few Union military organizations that lost more men in combat than it did to disease, etc.

Soldier History

Residence: Inf. Not Avail.   Age: ca. 31 yrs.
Enlisted/Enrolled: 5/9/1861 Buffalo, NY   Rank: 2nd Lieut.
Commissioned: 5/20/1861
Discharged For Wounds: 5/18/1863
Highest Rank: Capt.
Rank At Discharge: Capt.


Family History


John Canfield was born ca. 1830. The place of his birth is not documented.
Also undocumented are the names of his parents and possible siblings. He, apparently, never married or sired children.

During the American Civil War (ACW) Mr. Canfield served as a commissioned officer in the 21st New York Infantry. Having enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant, he received promotions to 1st Lieutenant and, then, Captain. The latter promotion prompted his transfer from Company “C” to Company “I.”

Wounded at the battle of 2nd Bull Run/Manassas, VA (8/28 – 30/1862) he was discharged on 5/187/1863.  Subsequently, however, post ACW, he served in the regular U.S. Army for sixteen years.

John Canfield died 9/28/1909 in Bellingham Whatcom County, WA. He was/is buried in that city’s Bayview Cemetery.

Newspaper Notice (in part):

John Canfield, aged 79 years, a pioneer of this city and county who, for the past three years has resided in Wickersham, died in St. Joseph’s hospital after a short illness. Mr. Canfield has no surviving relatives as far as is known.

NOTE: The preceding courtesy of the Whatcom Genealogical Society. Please see our Links page for details on how to obtain the download– Civil War Veterans in Whatcom County (including June 2014 updates) – from which much of the above information was obtained.

Posted: 12/18/2023


Buried at BayView Cemetery Whatcom Co.
Row: SECTION M, Lot 923
Site: Grave 1-A

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