Summary

Served in the UNION ARMY during the CIVIL WAR for the State of Minnesota. Medal of Honor recipient.

Conflict Period:
Civil War (Union) 1
Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Captain 1
Birth:
16 Feb 1837 1
New Hampshire 1
Death:
09 May 1900 1
Morgantown, North Carolina 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Clinton Albert Cilley 1
Birth:
16 Feb 1837 1
New Hampshire 1
Male 1
Death:
09 May 1900 1
Morgantown, North Carolina 1
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Marriage:
Emma Sophia Harper 1
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Civil War (Union) 1

Branch:
Army 1
Rank:
Captain 1
Service Start Date:
20 Sep 1863 1
Enlistment Location:
Minnesota 1

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Sources

  1. Contributed by tj_mystery_solver
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Stories

Medal of Honor

Tennesse

St. Paul daily globe., June 07, 1895, Page 1

St. Paul daily globe., June 07, 1895, Image 1

CAPT. CILLY'S HEROISM.
Member of the Second Minnesota Infantry Granted a Medal of Honor.
WASHINGTON, June 6.— The war department has granted a medal of honor to Capt. Clinton A. Cilly, of the Second Minnesota volunteer infantry, now a resident of Hickory, NC on Sept. 20, 1863, on the field of Chickamauga, Capt. Cllly saw a regiment not his own leaving the line of battle. He dashed after it, seized the colors, and rode back into the battle, followed by the regiment, which from that time did effective service.

Service Record

Minnesota

Clinton Cilley enlistment on 26 Jun 1861 at Sasioja, Minnesota as a volenteer for the Union for the state of Minnesota

He enlisted as a Sergeant Major on 26 June 1861 in Company S, 2nd Infantry Regiment Minnesota. He was Promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant on 21 Dec 1861, then Promoted to Full 1st Lieutenant on 16 May 1862, then Promoted to Full Captain on 10 Jul 1862. He was Discharged for promotion Company S, 2nd Infantry Regiment Minnesota on 14 Jul 1864.

He was Commission in Adjutant Genl Dept Regiment U.S. Volunteers on 14 Jul 1864, Promoted to Full Captain (Captain & Asst Adjutant General) on 14 Jul 1864. Promoted to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel (For Franklin, TN) on 13 Mar 1865, then Promoted to Brevet Colonel (For Nashville, TN) on 13 Mar 1865, then Promoted to Full Major on 21 Mar 1865.

He Mustered Out Adjutant Genl Dept Regiment U.S. Volunteers on 1 Sep 1866.

Sources: Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars 1861-65 Minnesota Adjutant General's Report of 1866 Deeds of Valor. How our Soldier-heroes won the Medal of Honor Medal of Honor Recipients 1863-1994 Heitman: Register of United States Army 1789-1903

Obituary

North Carolina

The Washington weekly post., May 15, 1900, Page 3

Col. Clinton A Cilley Dead

Special to the Post - Raleigh N C., May 9 - Col Clinton A ACilley died I today Hickory, his home after a long illness.  He was a native of Vermont and an honor graduate of Harvard. He served in the Federal army during the entire civil war and later while on duty in North Carolina endeared him himself to the people. He was by profession a lawyer and was under the provisional government a Superior Court judge.  He was an accomplished writer.  He married a daughter of the late Col. James C Harper, of Caldwell County.

Sources for more information about Clinton A Cilley

National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History

The link above has good information on Clinton's service in the Civil War

some personal information from their site:

"Although a native of New Hampshire, the earliest record we have of Clinton A. Cilley places him in the small community of Wasioja, located about fifteen minutes from the modern town of Mantorville, Minnesota. Clinton A. Cilley was a Professor at the Minnesota Seminary (renamed Northwestern College in 1861). In response to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers, Professor Clinton A. Cilley spoke to his students, and said, “Would it were God’s will that peace prevailed, but now we can do no other than serve our Union cause. Are you with me?” This began one of the first student marches in America, not in protest, but to enlist in the Union Army. Clinton Cilley enlisted as a Sergeant Major in the 2nd Minnesota, promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 21 Dec 1861, then promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 16 May 1862, then promoted to Captain on 10 Jul 1862. When his unit formed with the Army of the Cumberland, he was still assigned to the 2nd Minnesota Infantry, in Colonel Ferninand van Derveer’s 3rd Brigade, Gen. John M. Brannan’s 1st Division, 14th Army Corps. His primary duty was that of a Brigade staff officer on the staff of Colonel van Derveer."

"At the end of the Civil War, Clinton A. Cilley moved to western North Carolina and became regional administrator for the Freedmen’s Bureau. Clinton Cilley became very popular as a lawyer in Lenoir, NC, where he was elected one of the town's first mayors. He died May 9, 1900 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery Hickory (Catawba County), North Carolina. His grave can be found in Section 2-E, Row 2."

Find a grave page for Clinton Cilley

"Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. He served as a Brevet Colonel in the Union Army. He was awarded the Medal of Honor as a Captain in Company C, 2d Minnesota Infantry for action on September 20, 1863 at Chickamauga, Georgia. His citation reads "Seized the colors of a retreating regiment and led it into the thick of the attack." (bio by: Don Morfe) "

Wikipedia on Clinton A. Cilley

"Clinton Albert Cilley (February 16, 1837 – May 9, 1900) was a North Carolina lawyer and judge, and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions as an officer in the Union Army at the Battle of Chickamauga in theAmerican Civil War.

Cilley joined the 2nd Minnesota Infantry as a Sergeant in June 1861, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in six months later. He mustered out in September 1866 with the rank of Major.

Cilley moved to western North Carolina at the end of the Civil War and became regional administrator for the Freedmens Bureau. Although he was essentially a carpetbagger, Cilley became very popular as a lawyer in Lenoir, North Carolina, where he was elected one of the town's first mayors. He married Emma Harper, daughter of Congressman James C. Harper.

He died May 9, 1900 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery Hickory (Catawba County), North Carolina. His grave can be found in Section 2-E, Row 2."

National Society, Sons of the American Revolution

"Clinton Albert Cilley was born February 16, 1837, in Rockingham County, NH.

Carol Cepregi, Deputy Director of Operations for the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, responded to a request of information on Clinton A. Cilley with the following:  “I found a newspaper article from the St. Paul Sunday Pioneer Press dated May 28, 1972.  In it, it describes Professor Cilley, as President of the new Free Will Baptist Seminary, in Wasioja, MN the day after the firing on of Ft. Sumter, as he spoke to the students, and, according to the article, said, “Would it were God’s will that peace prevailed, but now we can do no other than serve our Union cause.  Are you with me?”  

This began one of the first student marches in America, not in protest, but to enlist in the Union Army at a tiny building which is now a museum in the town.  The seminary burned down in 1905.   Clinton A. Cilley was serving as a Captain in Company C, 2d Minnesota Infantry in the Union Army at the Battle of Chickamauga, GA, (September 19-20, 1863) when he earned the Medal of Honor.  The Citation reads “Seized the colors of a retreating regiment and led it into the thick of the attack.”  He was subsequently promoted to Brevet Colonel in the Union Army.  He is the second Compatriot Medal of Honor from that campaign.  The other is Horace Porter. Colonel Cilley was awarded the Medal of Honor on June 12, 1895.   Clinton A. Cilley moved to Lenoir and Hickory in western North Carolina at the end of the Civil War and became regional administrator for the Freedmen’s Bureau.  Clinton Cilley became very popular as a lawyer in Lenoir, NC, where he was elected one of the town's first mayors. He later became a judge and a politician. Clinton Cilley married Emma Harper, daughter of James C. Harper, former member of the NC House of Representative, and then was later elected himself to the House of Representatives of the 42nd US Congress.  

Clinton A. Cilley became a member of the New Hampshire Society in 1894.  His National number is 7521 and his Society number is 21.  His Patriot ancestor was Joseph Cilley who was “appoint Major in Enoch Poor’s Regiment on May 24, 1775 under recommendation of the Committee on Safety.”  Later, Colonel Joseph Cilley was appointed to the command of the 1st MA Continental Regiment. Joseph Cilley survived both the battles of the American campaign in Canada and the smallpox epidemic, fought and escaped with his regiment in the Battle of Long Island; tasted victory at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton, was assigned to General Sullivan’s Brigade and participated in the Battles of Saratoga.     

Personal papers of Clinton and his wife may be found in the library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The Catawba County Museum of History contains the Clinton Cilley Collection of Civil War artifacts   He died May 9, 1900, at the age of 63 years in NC and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery Hickory (Catawba County), NC (1837-02-16). "

University of North Carolina Clinton Cilley collection

the University Library's online catalog:

Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863.
Cilley family.
Cilley, Clinton A., 1837-1900.
Cilley, Emma Sophia Harper, 1844-1922.
Diaries (Blank-books)
Episcopal Church--North Carolina--History--19th century.
Family--North Carolina--Social life and customs.
Harper family.
Hickory (N.C.)--Social life and customs.
Law students--North Carolina--History--19th century.
Law--Study and teaching--North Carolina--History--19th century.
Lawyers--North Carolina--History--19th century.
Lenoir (N.C.)--Social life and customs.
United States. Army--Officers.

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